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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Physician licensing laws keep doctors from seeking care

Bab Nellis
Mayo Clinic New Network

Despite growing problems with psychological distress, many physicians avoid seeking mental health treatment due to concern for their license. Mayo Clinic research shows that licensing requirements in many states include questions about past mental health treatments or diagnoses, with the implication that they may limit a doctor's right to practice medicine. The findings appear today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“Clearly, in some states, the questions physicians are required to answer to obtain or renew their license are keeping them from seeking the help they need to recover from burnout and other  emotional or mental health issues,” says Liselotte Dyrbye, M.D., a Mayo Clinic physician and first author of the article.

The researchers examined the licensing documents for physicians in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and renewal applications from 48 states. They also collected data in a national survey of more than 5,800 physicians, including attitudes about seeking mental health care.

Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they would hesitate in seeking professional help for a mental health condition because they feared doing so could have negative impacts on their medical license.

The article is here.

The target article is here.
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