Reading Resources

Reading around the topic of doctors and mental health

Much has been published about physician health particularly in the last few years. The following is a small selection of publications in this field. 

​Please bear in mind that you may find the topics contained in the suggested books and articles distressing or triggering, particularly if you are currently unwell.  

It is your responsibility to decide when / if this reading might be helpful in your own situation.

2014 article
Why doctors hide their own illnesses by Louise Carpenter, The Guardian

A well written general press article about the ongoing problems of doctors' mental health issues.
Click HERE for article

2014 report
GMC internal review of doctors who commit suicide while under GMC fitness to practice investigation

Review and analysis of doctors' suicides while undergoing the GMC fitness to practice process.
Click HERE for report

2013 article
When doctors need treatment: an anthropological approach to why doctors make bad patients by Alex Wessely and Clare Gerada, BMJ Careers

Article discussing the anthropological reasons why doctors make bad patients.
Click HERE for article

2012 article
Medicine and mental illness: how can the obstacles sick doctors face be overcome? BJ Psych Bulletin

An anonymous reflection from a doctor with mental health problems on their experience of the system and suggestions on how to overcome obstacles in the way of affected doctors receiving appropriate care.
Click HERE for article

2011 article
Doctors and mental health by Sue Learner, BMJ Careers

Article about the experiences of doctors with mental health problems including comment from Dr Fiona Donnelly - chair of DSN at the time.
Click HERE for article

2009 report
NHS health and well-being review

Dr Steve Boorman led an independent review of the health and well-being of NHS staff. Mental health is one of the areas of focus of his report.
Click HERE for link to report

2007 book
When doctors become patients by Dr Robert Klitzman

Robert Klitzman is a psychiatrist who became interested in doctors' health and their attitudes towards it after his own depression following a family bereavement.  

This book is available to borrow from the BMA library.
DSN will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase When Doctors become Patients using the link above.

2005 book
Doctors as Patients edited by Dr Petre Jones

Doctors as Patients is a collection of writing by DSN members, edited by Dr Petre Jones. It includes reflections of the experience of doctors with mental health problems as well as practical advice for how to cope if afflicted oneself.  Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

​This is a courageous and overdue book written by doctors with mental illness. All look back over their illnesses and describe their experiences with remarkable honesty and clarity. Following diagnosis and treatment, most of them continue to practice, some with knowledge of the cyclical nature of the illness with which they have to contend.
Ruth Fowke, Christian Medical Fellowship

This book is available from the BMA library.
Doctors' Support Network 2016 Doctors as patients mental health
DSN will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase Doctors as Patients using the link above.

2003 report
Report of an independent inquiry into the care and treatment of Daksha Emson MBBS, MRCPsych, MSc and her daughter Freya

Daksha Emson was a senior psychiatric registrar when she sadly killed herself and her infant daughter while unwell with post natal depression. The inquiry into their deaths highlighted several areas in which their care could have been improved, some related to Daksha's role as a doctor.  
Click HERE for report

In memory of Daksha & Freya Emson, Belinda Brewer and Petre Jones
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