Being a doctor to a colleague is a great honour for any medical
practitioner. However, it also presents many challenges. These
challenges will be discussed in a series of articles looking at how to best
be a doctor for other doctors.
This article, the first in the series, explores potential barriers to good
medical care when the patient is a doctor. Subsequent articles in the
series will discuss strategies for overcoming these barriers.
There are many barriers to doctors receiving ideal medical care
These barriers include issues around boundaries, embarrassment,
confidentiality, payment for services and medicolegal issues. Having an
awareness of these barriers can help treating doctors to offer the best
possible care to those colleagues who choose to see them as patients.
Being invited to be a doctor for a colleague is one of the greatest possible honours for a medical practitioner. However, it also presents many challenges. Doctors do not always make the best patients and being asked to treat a colleague can challenge even the most experienced practitioner. Potential barriers to good medical care when the patient is a doctor – from both the point of view of the treating doctor and of the patient doctor – are outlined in Table 1.
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