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Health Advice for Doctors, Dentists and Managers

General advice for doctors and dentists experiencing health problems:

  • Avoid self-investigation and self-medication.
  • Avoid seeking specialist advice from medical colleagues - this can put your professional colleagues in a difficult position, lead to unnecessary investigations and the possibility of fragmented care.
  • Do not work if you are ill - infection may be passed onto others and reduced performance may be more dangerous for patients than you realise.
  • Remember that doctors and dentists are no less vulnerable than others to physical and psychological health problems, including stress and depression. Be aware that acute and chronic illness and stress can affect your performance as a doctor.
  • The slow development of a physical problem such as, intention tremor, deafness or poor eyesight may gradually impair your ability to to do aspects of your work effectively. Many doctors and dentists in such situations, develop complex methods of working around their health problems. This may result in seemingly 'odd' behaviour, and thus may increase personal stress levels. Appraisal is an opportunity to discuss these issues confidentially, with a colleague. However, the more open you are able to be with your colleagues, the less room there is for misunderstanding.
  • Occupational Health can offer sympathetic help to adjust your working environment and / or job description.
  • Ensure that you are registered with a GP, make appropriate appointments to see them and provide sick certificates for medical staffing if you are away for more than seven days. Most GPs have arrangements to see acutely ill patients on the same day, however, if you encounter difficulty making an appointment, ask to speak to a GP on the phone and explain that you are a hospital doctor.
  • If you have long term, or recurrent short term sickness absence, ask to be referred to Occupational Health, who can request reports (with your permission) from your GP. They are well placed to liaise with your medical director, and can pro-actively manage a gradual return to work. Occupational Health can also provide a range of support and help if you have a chronic disabling condition.


Resources for Doctors and dentists with Health Problems:

(External links)

Other Health Help

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