Advanced

When doctors are patients : A narrative study of help-seeking behaviour among addicted physicians

Wistrand, Jonatan LU (2017) In Medical Humanities 43(1). p.19-23
Abstract

In recent decades studies based on questionnaires and interviews have concluded that when doctors become ill they face significant barriers to seeking help. Several reasons have been proposed, primarily the notion that doctors' work environment predisposes them to an inappropriate help-seeking behaviour. In this article, the idea of the ill physician as a paradox in a medical drama is examined. Through a text-interpretive and comparative approach to historical illness narratives written by doctors suffering from one specific diagnosis, namely opioid addiction, the complex set of considerations guiding their behaviour as patients are to some extent revealed. The article concludes that, in the identity transition necessary to become a... (More)

In recent decades studies based on questionnaires and interviews have concluded that when doctors become ill they face significant barriers to seeking help. Several reasons have been proposed, primarily the notion that doctors' work environment predisposes them to an inappropriate help-seeking behaviour. In this article, the idea of the ill physician as a paradox in a medical drama is examined. Through a text-interpretive and comparative approach to historical illness narratives written by doctors suffering from one specific diagnosis, namely opioid addiction, the complex set of considerations guiding their behaviour as patients are to some extent revealed. The article concludes that, in the identity transition necessary to become a patient, doctors are held back by their professional status and that every step to assist them needs to take shape based on an awareness of the underlying principles of the medical drama. Written illness narratives by doctors, such as those highlighted in this article, might serve as a tool to increase such awareness.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Medical Humanities
volume
43
issue
1
pages
19 - 23
publisher
BMJ Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:84984985755
  • wos:000395540200018
ISSN
1468-215X
DOI
10.1136/medhum-2016-011002
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e3c0970c-3a8e-4032-a93b-5d9135a77b0f
date added to LUP
2016-09-29 15:51:25
date last changed
2017-10-04 13:21:47
@article{e3c0970c-3a8e-4032-a93b-5d9135a77b0f,
  abstract     = {<p>In recent decades studies based on questionnaires and interviews have concluded that when doctors become ill they face significant barriers to seeking help. Several reasons have been proposed, primarily the notion that doctors' work environment predisposes them to an inappropriate help-seeking behaviour. In this article, the idea of the ill physician as a paradox in a medical drama is examined. Through a text-interpretive and comparative approach to historical illness narratives written by doctors suffering from one specific diagnosis, namely opioid addiction, the complex set of considerations guiding their behaviour as patients are to some extent revealed. The article concludes that, in the identity transition necessary to become a patient, doctors are held back by their professional status and that every step to assist them needs to take shape based on an awareness of the underlying principles of the medical drama. Written illness narratives by doctors, such as those highlighted in this article, might serve as a tool to increase such awareness.</p>},
  author       = {Wistrand, Jonatan},
  issn         = {1468-215X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {19--23},
  publisher    = {BMJ Publishing Group},
  series       = {Medical Humanities},
  title        = {When doctors are patients : A narrative study of help-seeking behaviour among addicted physicians},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medhum-2016-011002},
  volume       = {43},
  year         = {2017},
}