What should doctors do if they become sick?

Fam Pract. 1993 Dec;10(4):416-23. doi: 10.1093/fampra/10.4.416.


The objectives of this study were (i) to investigate whether there were any differences between how doctors behave when ill and how they would recommend other doctors to behave; (ii) to determine whether doctors think self-investigation and self-medication are acceptable; and (iii) to find out if doctors working in general practice and hospitals agree about how other doctors should manage their own ill health. A questionnaire enquiring about expected or recommended behaviour for 10 medical conditions and acceptability of self-investigation by 10 procedures and self-medication with 10 drug groups was sent to 59 general practitioners (GPs) and 65 hospital consultants in the same geographical area. Response rates were 78.7 and 81.3% from GPs and hospital specialists respectively. A wide range of responses was given for each question. General practitioners were significantly more likely to recommend other doctors if sick to consult their own GP, but significantly more likely to expect to treat themselves. Hospital specialists were significantly more likely to advise sick doctors to consult specialists directly rather than their GPs. There was little consensus about whether self-investigation and self-medication was acceptable.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Medicine
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Self Care*
  • Self Medication
  • Specialization
  • Surveys and Questionnaires