Drunk Doc? Some Burned Out Medics Are Working Impaired

A new report shows a growing number of burned out physicians are turning to drugs or alcohol, according to an article in Changing America. The 2022 State of Mental Health: American Healthcare Workers Report revealed a mental health crisis in the healthcare industry, in part fueled by the pressures of the pandemic, and causing a wave of substance abuse.

All Points North, a mental health company, interviewed 1,000 U.S. healthcare workers, and found 40 percent feel anxiety or dread about going to work. Nearly half are nearing their breaking point or looking for a new job. Substance abuse was prevalent. The report found one in seven physicians admitted to consuming alcohol or controlled substances at work over the last three months. More than one in five turned to drugs or alcohol multiple times a day.

Yet there are barriers to seeking help. One in three healthcare workers say they are too overworked and don’t have time to seek mental health care. Other reasons include fear of getting their medical license revoked or fallout from colleagues or family who may judge them. Men struggle with the stigma more than women and are 4.5 times more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol while at work and 2.5 times more likely to consume something up to 12 hours before their shift.

Working under the influence can lead to medical mistakes and malpractice. If you have a case you would like to discuss, please reach out to us. Our firm is recognized as a leader in litigating personal injury cases throughout Pennsylvania.