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RCGP William Pickles Lecture – A new kind of doctor.

For the last decade, I’ve been a doctors’ doctor –
leading a confidential service for doctors with mental health problems.
I have seen, and treated, thousands of doctors across
all specialities and ages.
Most present with depression, anxiety, and
symptoms indistinguishable from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Doctors with alcohol and drug addiction.
With bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and personality disorder.
Doctors with what we call ‘NHS-itis’
General practitioners, psychiatrists and paediatricians are
over-represented in the service.
Surgeons, on the other hand, are under-represented.
– After all, surgeons never get ill, they get divorced instead!

Over the years, the number of doctors presenting has increased,
whilst the average age of those seeking support has dropped dramatically.
In caring for my own kind, I have been trying to
understand why it is I’m seeing growing numbers of mentally ill doctors.
In this talk I’ll share with you my personal experience of what I’ve learned.
And in so doing, will suggest –
as Julian Tudor Hart did in the 1980’s –
that we need to train ‘A New Kind of Doctor’.

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