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Doctors aren’t immune to addiction

November 16, 2012
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Patrick J. Skerrett

Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Patrick J. Skerrett


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January 9, 2013

This is a great article. Everyone has a chance of becoming addicted to anything. Smoking is an addiction that many humans suffer from. Dr’s know the harm of these addictions but are still vulnerable.

Terrence Kommal
December 25, 2012

Congratulations in a fantastic article. Indeed there human challenges are there for even us as doctors who are constanstly under abnormal stressors and workloads.

I have recent had to assess a colleague for work impairment due to abuse of various legal substances. The sad reality is that due to sever inderstanffing in facilities in South Africa, the stresses ans stressors are indeed great.

It would be interesting if you could advise if you have had any material on colleagues being certified work impaired due to abuse of substances.

Kind regards,
Terrence Kommal MD

Hannah Gwin Munden
December 9, 2012

Great article. I happen to be married to a physician who was addicted to drugs and alcohol(which is a drug). My husband sought help and went to a long term residential treatment program in May of 1985. He has been sober since and practiced in addiction medicine in Austin, Texas. He has been very active in the recovery community and helped many physicians,veterinarians, dentist, nurses and others who work in healthcare.
The disease of addiction does not discriminate by job title or anything else!
Addiction is a huge national problem and unfortunately the medical community is way behind in recognizing the disease and lacks training in how to address this problem! It is not their fault since the curriculum was not there in medical school.
Dr. Munden has just written a wonderful book titled, There’s an Addict in My Closet
The Truth About Addiction. It is available on His name is Herbert C. Munden M.D.
Wake up America this is a major health problem!
Hannah G. Munden BSN

December 4, 2012

It’s an unfortunate commentary on life that we all can be affected by addiction. Doctors are human beings, just like the rest of us, and have a high amount of stress. I’d rather have a recovered doctor, who knows what addiction feels like, because they can directly relate to their patients battling the same issues. As for the cost of the treatment program, it is too expensive, expecially for a practice that may already be losing patients. Great article!

Dave, Editor, thejeffriestube

Dr. James Meschino
November 22, 2012

This blog is a great source of information. Thank you very much for giving me such important information.
Dr. James Meschino

Ricy Mardona
November 21, 2012

Hi Thanks A lot about Your Articles … very Nice.

November 20, 2012

Massive respect for Doctor’s! and YES, we are all Homsapians!

November 29, 2012


Funny comment 🙂

Nice post doctor
Thanks for sharing

Dino Albarn
November 17, 2012

Great Article. Of course Doctors also human, they can get addiction to the drugs too. My doctors was have addiction to smoking, he smoke cigarettes almost everyday. Too bad for him, he was dead because of lung cancer last year.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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