Fridner A et al., 2012 [35]

Why don’t academic physicians seek needed professional help for psychological distress?

900 Italian physicians and 841 physicians from Sweden

Analyses were performed among university hospital physicians, who had reported recent suicidal thoughts and/or showed other indications of current psychological disease. These distressed physicians were a subgroup (42.7%) from the cross-sectional phase I HOUPE study (Health and Organization among University Hospital Physicians in Europe): 366 from Sweden and 150 from Italy.

Few of these university hospital physicians with signs of psychological distress sought help from a mental health professional. This has implications for physicians themselves and for their patients, for clinical research and for education of future physicians. More studies, preferably of interventional design, are warranted concerning help seeking among these physicians in need.


The study was not capable to know how many of these physicians going through difficulties, who received help in the past, are also receiving the help they currently need. On the other hand, since the GHQ and MOLBI appointments refer to the last weeks, the authors cannot always expect that psychic suffering last enough to explain care-seeking. Samples are very large and heterogeneous and they include a range of specialists within the academic medical environment.

Siu C, Yuen SK, Cheung A., 2012 [28]

Burnout among public doctors in Hong Kong: cross-sectional survey

One thousand (100,000) physicians were randomly chosen in the Hong Kong Public Doctors’ Association registry.

We assessed the prevalence of burnout among Hong Kong public hospital doctors and correlated burnout with job characteristics, working hours, stressors, and stress-relieving strategies.

A great ratio of public doctors who responded to our survey endured a high level of burnout. Trainees with some experience were at higher risk. Stressors identified in this study should be addressed, so as to improve job satisfaction.


The study does not report limitations.