Recovery and Service: On Being a Physician with Mental Illness

AMA J Ethics. 2016 Jun 1;18(6):643-5. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2016.18.6.mnar1-1606.


For physicians with psychiatric illness, especially when newly diagnosed, one concern can be what effect patients' knowledge of their physician's diagnosis can have on their relationship. As a pediatrician with bipolar disease, about which many patients and the community are well aware, I've found that patients are much more concerned with the quality of care they receive than with whatever psychiatric problems their physician might have. I offer this narrative in hopes that it will allay other physicians' fears of "disclosure."

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Communication*
  • Disclosure*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Quality of Health Care