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Academia and the Profession |

When the Doctor Needs A Doctor: Special Considerations for the Physician-Patient

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Alan Stoudemire, M.D.; Box 3903 Duke University Medical Center; Durham, NC 27710.

Durham, North Carolina

Ann Intern Med. 1983;98(5_Part_1):654-659. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-98-5-654
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The treatment of an ill or impaired physician may present difficulties not typically encountered in other patients. Potential complications arise from the temptation for physicians to diagnose and treat themselves, their tendency to obtain "informal" consultations regarding personal symptoms, their difficult transition from the role of doctor to that of patient, and the inadvertent assumption of a "VIP" status in the hospital. These difficulties may be increased by the denial of illness by the physicians themselves and their families and colleagues. This denial is partially determined by legal, financial, social, professional, and psychological factors. Specific recommendations on caring for an ill physician are presented.





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