A survey of health care needs of physicians

Khalid Benkhadra, Jayanth Adusumalli, Tamim Rajjo, Philp T. Hagen, Zhen Wang, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The healthcare needs of physician are not well studied. Methods: We surveyed physicians attending a large primary care conference about their access and perceived barriers to receiving healthcare services. Results: Response rate was 46 % (270/592). The majority were trained in family medicine. The age category of above 60 years was the most common (39 %) and 46 % were women. Important difficulty in accessing healthcare services was reported by 39 % of physicians and the majority (61 %) reported reverting to self-diagnosis and self-treatment. Female physicians reported more difficulties than male physicians (p < 0.001 for difficulty in securing access and p = 0.02 for self-diagnosis and treatment). The barriers cited were finding time for healthcare, concern about confidentiality, and lack of encouragement by employer. Respondents reported experiencing a career threatening illness themselves (20 %) or in a colleague (81 %). Forty-two percent experienced being concerned about a colleague being able to safely practice due to illness. Participants ranked substance abuse as the most common illnesses affecting a physician's ability to practice followed by psychiatric disorders, heart disease, neurological disorders and cancer. Conclusions: Physicians face important barriers to accessing healthcare services. Female physicians report worse access. The identified barriers are modifiable. This survey calls for efforts to improve physicians' health that require collaboration among physicians, employers and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number472
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 6 2016


  • Healthcare access
  • Physician health
  • Survey
  • Wellness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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