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Employers should help prevent misuse of alcohol by employees

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 07 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6590

Re: Employers should help prevent misuse of alcohol by employees

The author makes the case that employers should be taking pre-emptive action to identify risky drinking amongst employees. Should the same apply to medical schools?

Alcoholism amongst Doctors is a well researched area and numerous studies have highlighted the issue of alcohol misuse (1,2). As the well known joke goes, "what's the definition of an alcoholic? someone who drinks more than their doctor!". This problem also appears to extend to medical students (3).

Therefore should medical schools be implementing pre-emptive action for medical students? As a student body perhaps we should be attempting to convince medical schools of the "business case for prevention"?


1. A. Brooks. 1998. Many junior doctors misuse drugs and drink excessively. BMJ 317:700.2

2. J. Juntunen, S. Asp, M. Olkinuora, M. Aärimaa, L. Strid, K. Kauttu .1988. Doctors' drinking habits and consumption of alcohol. BMJ 297:951

3. E. Frank, L. Elon, T. Naimi, R. Brewer. 2008. Alcohol consumption and alcohol counselling behaviour among US medical students: cohort study. BMJ 337:a2155

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 November 2013
Chris Jefferies
Medical student
Cardiff University
Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cochrane Medical Education Centre, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4YU