Alcohol misuse among doctors

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7097.1833b (Published 21 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1833

Treatment should be offered

  1. G M Cunningham, Directora
  1. a Homewood Addiction Division, Homewood Health Centre, 150 Delhi Street, Guelph, Ontario N1E 6K9, Canada
  2. b Treffgarne, Pembrokeshire SA62 5PJ

    Editor—Bryan Christie's news article on the possibility of mandatory testing for alcohol misuse among doctors raises some serious issues.1 As director of the largest treatment programme for addicted doctors in the Commonwealth, I am alarmed by the suggestion that intrusive and unhelpful monitoring techniques would be suggested by no less an authority than James Griffith Edwards.1 To suggest that all doctors have liver function tests every two years as a screening test for alcohol misuse or alcohol dependency is intrusive and, in fact, has been shown to be ineffectual.2 At the stage when a doctor arrives at work smelling of alcohol, the disease is highly advanced.3 As pointed out by the sheriff in Gerald Davies's case, there was a conspiracy of silence surrounding …

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