By David Millett, 16 July 2015
A survey of more than 600 UK doctors, carried out by medico-legal organisation the Medical Protection Society (MPS), found that 85% of doctors reported experiencing mental health issues at some point in their career. A total of 32% said they had experienced depression during their medical career, while 13% had experienced suicidal thoughts. Three quarters (75%) said they had suffered from stress, 49% anxiety and 36% from low self-esteem. The results come as the GMC and leading health professionals agreed that a confidential national support service should be established to help doctors with mental health or drug addiction problems. Respondents to the MPS survey mainly cited heavy workload (75%) and long working hours (70%) as the main drivers behind mental health issues they had experienced.Over half (54%) said the high levels of scrutiny and regulation were affecting their mental health. MPS medico-legal advisor Dr Pallavi Bradshaw urged doctors to seek help ‘as soon as they experience mental health difficulties’.