When Doctors Get Sick: How They Navigate Medical Issues

Everybody needs a medical checkup from time to time — even highly-skilled doctors. While medical professionals can often spot symptoms that might escape those with less training, self-treatment is never recommended. Doctors face several obstacles in their quest for optimal personal health, as outlined below:

Ceding Control

Years of in-depth training may convince health care professionals that they know it all — and that they’re capable of working through medical problems without further assistance. In reality, however, many doctors specialize in a specific area of medicine (oncology or geriatrics, for example) and are therefore not qualified to treat all conditions. Doctors seeking treatment must transition their perspective from that of caretaker to patient. Many healthcare workers struggle to adopt this alternate mindset.

Few Sick Days

One of the biggest issues surrounding doctors and illness: their reluctance to take off work, even when alarming medical issues threaten to harm their patients. Unfortunately, it’s an unwritten rule in the medical profession that doctors don’t take sick days unless they are violently ill. Unable to fully recover, doctors who fail to take time off may risk not only medical errors, but also spreading bacterial or viral illnesses to patients and other staff members.

Minimizing Symptoms

When doctors actually seek help for their ailments, they tend to minimize the severity of their symptoms. Phrases such as “it’s not a big deal” are common. They may intellectually understand symptoms or risk factors, but identifying these signs in themselves is another matter altogether. Through greater training and reduced stigma, medical professionals can finally enjoy the quality of treatment they expect for their patients.

Did a negligent health care professional cause you or a loved one suffering? Contact Regan Zambri & Long PLLC today to learn more about our work in medical malpractice law.

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