Patient safety is jeopardized when healthcare services are provided by physicians who suffer from substance use disorders (SUDs). When focusing on the problem of substance abuse and dependence among physicians, certain factors inherent in the medical field, such as long hours, the high-stress nature of the work, and the ease of access to drugs, make physicians more susceptible to abusing or becoming dependent on prescription drugs and alcohol. SUDs may differ in severity. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2013) provides three severity specifiers: mild, moderate, and severe. Severe SUDs are also known as addictive disorders. To make matters worse, a culture of silence exists among colleagues, who often seek to protect the compromised physician from the legal consequences of abusing drugs. Luckily, the compromised physician can be provided with an intense and individualized treatment regime through physician health programs that aim for rehabilitation over termination of employment.
|Title of host publication||Principles of Medical Professionalism|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|ISBN (Print)||9780197506226, 9780197506257|
|State||Published - Apr 2021|