A literature review published in 2008 suggested that doctors may not seek medical advice if they think their matter is trivial, they may be embarrassed and they may be worried about confidentiality, especially if it is a mental health problem. Also implicated are the cultural barriers; the systemic stigma of illness for doctors.

Therefore, if one of your patients is a doctor, any of these worries may have been on their mind, and may also impact on the relationship you have with this doctor, who is now a patient. It may be more difficult to be objective and it may be difficult for the patient to take advice.

Doctors' health advisory services in some states offer training on how to manage doctors as patients.


Margaret Kay and others: Doctors as patients: a systematic review of doctors’ health access and the barriers they experience. British Journal of General Practice 2008; 501-8