From the Journals

Medical licensing questions continue to violate ADA



Time to remove stigma

Michael F. Myers, MD, a clinical psychiatrist at the State University of New York, Brooklyn, said removing the stigma of seeking help for mental health conditions is especially important for physicians. He’s written several books about physician mental health, including his latest, “Becoming a Doctor’s Doctor: A Memoir.”

Dr. Michael F. Myers, a psychiatrist at State University of New York, Brooklyn

Dr. Michael F. Myers

“I would say at least 15% of the families that I interviewed who lost a physician loved one to suicide have said the doctor was petrified of going for professional help because of fears of what this could do to their medical license,” he said. “It is extremely important that those licensing questions will be either brought up to speed, or ­– the ones that are clearly violating the ADA – that they be removed.”

Applications for hospital privileges can also run afoul of the same ADA standard, Dr. Myers added. “Physicians have told me that when they go to get medical privileges at a medical center, they get asked all kinds of questions that are outdated, that are intrusive, that violate the ADA,” he said.

Credentialing is another area that Dr. Gold and her colleagues are interested in studying, she said. “Sometimes the licensing applications can be fine, but then the hospital someone is applying to work at can ask the same illegal questions anyway,” she said. “So it doesn’t matter that the state fixed the problem because the hospital asked them anyway. You feel your job is at risk in the same way, so you still don’t get help.”

Dr. Gold and Dr. Myers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.


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