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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Surgeons With Alcohol Problems

Working in the field of medicine can be a high stress job especially if one is a doctor performing surgery. A number of surgeons choose to use alcohol as a coping mechanism, which in a number of cases has led to addiction according to a new study. Researchers found that about 15 percent have alcohol abuse or dependency problems, a rate above the general population’s nine percent.

What’s frightening about these statistics is that surgeons who showed signs of alcoholism were 45 percent more likely to admit that they had a major medical error in the past three months, according to Reuters.

Michael Oreskovich at the University of Washington headed up the new study. A survey was sent to more than 25,000 surgeons and 7,200 of them reported alcohol abuse or dependency.

Oreskovich said, “The nature of the beast is that the percent of emergencies, the percent of after-hours work and actual scheduled work itself all require an energy and concentration that is really different than a lot of other specialties.”

The study was published in the Archives of Surgery

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