© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. Background: Psychiatrists are at a high risk of becoming mentally ill at some point during their careers. Aims: To compare the profile of psychiatrists admitted to the Barcelona Physicians' Health Programme (PHP) with other sick doctors in the programme. Methods: A retrospective case review of electronic medical records was conducted for physicians registered at the 'Colegio de Médicos' in Barcelona and consecutively admitted to the Barcelona PHP from January 1998 until December 2013. Results: One thousand two hundred eighteen records were reviewed. The 72 psychiatrists admitted to the programme were not statistically different from the other physicians in gender (54% versus 51% women), primary diagnosis (34% non-substance use mental disorders versus 29% substance use disorders), prevalence of adjustment disorders and median length of their first treatment episode (9.0 versus 8.4 months). Psychiatrists were significantly older (mean age 53 versus 50 years; t = 2.12; P < 0.05), more frequently had inpatient treatment during their first treatment episode (17% versus 10%; X. <sup>2</sup> = 4.57, P < 0.05) and had more referred (rather than self-referred) admissions (22% versus 13%; X. <sup>2</sup> = 4.57, P < 0.05) than other physicians. However, only the type of referral played a significant role when considering the simultaneous effect of all relevant variables (Wald = 4.43; P < 0.05). Conclusions: Psychiatrists with mental disorders may be more reluctant to ask for help from a PHP voluntarily than other physicians. Members of this professional group should be encouraged to seek help when affected by mental distress or addiction problems.
- Physicians' health programmes
- Sick doctors