Dr. Sabine Ziegler is a general practitioner with an interest in palliative care, practising in Ettlingen, Germany
For readers from Canada, a "mother land" of physician health, my reflections on physician health in Germany may surprise; the structures in Germany are not nearly as well developed as in the USA, Canada or Great Britain.
Doctors in Germany can prescribe and self medicate without any consultation or assessment by a colleague- which means drug misuse, including benzodiazepines, is possible. Long working hours, high professional responsibility and little recreational time lead to a large percentage of doctors feeling physically and psychologically affected. On top of that is the constant confrontation with suffering, fear and death. Doctors also often crumple under the high demands they create for themselves. It doesn't fit with a doctor’s self-perception to seek help for their own problems. Yet when a sick healer tries to cure himself most of the time it doesn't work. Every year around 150 German physicians end their lives. ...continue reading