Thesis defense Pauline Geuijen (Donders series 570)
4 November 2022
Promotors: Prof. dr. A.F.A. Schellekens, Prof. dr. A.H. Schene †
Copromotor: Dr. F. Atsma
Substance use disorder among physicians
Substance use disorders (SUD) among physicians often remain concealed for a long time, potentially adversely affecting the quality and safety of care. Previous research showed that physicians have difficulties with seeking help for SUD and that colleagues play an important role in identifying this disease. This thesis shows that SUD is as common among physicians as among highly educated people. Feelings of shame and fear and a lack of disease awareness hinder physicians from seeking help. In contrast, a confidential and non-judgmental attitude of bystanders and healthcare organizations facilitates the help seeking process. Although almost all colleagues want to take action when presuming SUD among a physician, two-thirds actually do so. It is therefore important that colleagues learn to don’t look away when presuming SUD and to offer support to the physician in question, given the potentially adverse effects ffor the quality and safety of care.