From the November 1972 magazine.

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Physicians' Personal Problems

Statistically, there is a tragic number of addicts among members of the healing arts--doctors, dentists, nurses, psychologists, and pharmacists--but the profession itself, in an endeavor to protect its image, creates the protective device behind which the individual may hide, and even perish.

Any medical man might ask himself how much he was taught about addiction in medical school or in postgraduate studies. If his schooling was as mine, the answer is nothing at all; yet the magic letters after his name, MD, cause him to be singled out as knowledgeable and experienced. If he has no problem himself, he may "refer to psychiatry" to rid himself of a troublesome patient. If he has a problem, he may refer to psychiatry to avoid the risk of identification. In either case, the problem has been shelved, and the physician-patient is likely to be helped only to the degree of sophistication vis-a-vis alcoholism of the psychiatrist into whose care he falls.

-- New York State Medical Journal

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