Women physicians and addiction

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Nine hundred and sixty-nine impaired physicians (125 women and 844 men) enrolled in one of four state physician health programs were evaluated with comprehensive psychosocial, psychiatric and substance abuse/dependence profiles. When compared to male impaired physicians at time of entry to physician health programs, the 125 female impaired physicians were younger (39.9 vs. 43.7 years; p <.0001), reported more medical (48.7% vs. 34.4%; OR = 1.81) and psychiatric (76.5% vs. 63.9%; OR = 1.84) problems at intake. They were more likely to report past (51.8% vs. 29.9%; OR = 2.51) or current (11.4% vs. 4.8%; OR = 2.54) suicidal ideation, and more likely to have made a suicide attempt under the influence (20.0% vs. 5.1%; OR = 4.64) or not under the influence (14.0% vs. 1.7%; OR = 9.67) of a substance. Although alcohol was the primary drug of abuse for all physicians studied, women physicians were more likely to abuse sedative hypnotics than men (11.4 vs. 6.4; OR = 1.87). There were no gender differences in employment problems (65.3% vs. 67.5%; ns) or legal problems (15% vs. 21%; OR =.66) due to addiction. These findings suggest different characteristics between male and female impaired physicians which may have implications for identification and treatment of this population. Copyright © by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wunsch MJ; Knisely JS; Cropsey KL; Campbell ED; Schnoll SH
  • Start Page

  • 35
  • End Page

  • 43
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 2