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Meaningful patient engagement

  • Clare Gerada (a1)

Holding a medical degree does not magically protect the individual from ever becoming unwell or needing medical help. However, for various reasons, most of which relate to personal, professional and institutional stigma, doctors are often denied the care they so readily provide to their own patients. The author has been running a ‘sick doctor’ service for 10 years and this article describes, from the practitioner-patient perspective, the barriers to care and what can be done to improve doctors' access to services.


  • Appreciate the external and internal risk factors for mental illness in doctors
  • Understand why doctors do not attend for care when mentally unwell
  • Acknowledge how mentally ill doctors are exposed to stigma and how this can be overcome


C.G. is a partner of the Hurley Group who won the contract for PHP in 2008 and is employed by and leads the NHS Practitioner Health Programme.

Corresponding author
Correspondence Clare Gerada, Practitioner Health Service, Hobart House, St George Wharf, Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2JB, UK. E-mail:
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 2056-4678
  • EISSN: 2056-4686
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Meaningful patient engagement

  • Clare Gerada (a1)
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