PSYCHIATRISTS AS PATIENTS

I have established that no body likes to be unwell. Nobody likes to be a patient. However, there is a group of individuals that detest being a patient more so then the general public, and they are psychiatrists.

 

My time in psychiatry has highlighted that being a psychiatrist who is a patient comes with a whole other bag of worms other than simple embarrassment being treated by your colleagues. Being a patient psychiatrist comes with the fear that one might not be able to continue their career, the worry that their own patients will not take them seriously or have the same level of respect if they were to share the ward with them. Along with that, comes basic safety. A patient psychiatrist would be under physical risk if sharing a ward with their own patients. This reason for this is unfortuna

 

tely when unwell, psychiatric patients can express themselves physically and that would be indeed worrying if expressing that on a psychiatrist they believed has enforced their admission in hospital. 

 

Once better, would the patients and their relatives be able to find the same level of trust and confidence in the psychiatrist? There is a fear among psychiatrists that in seeking help themselves as a patient in mental health, they will not be looked at favourably among their patients. In a medical ward it is a physical illness that patients would have understanding of and perhaps no stigma towards the doctor. However, in a psychiatric ward, the patients can be long term, know the psychiatrist well and the dynamic of the relationship between patient and psychiatrist would most likely change.

 

On another note, how can a patient psychiatrist themselves get the best care that they too are entitled for when sharing the ward with their own team? The fear that a psychiatrist could not just be a patient but always be viewed as a psychiatrist when unwell would be distressing. The psychiatrist would be under pressure to remember that they are a psychiatrist meaning they still shouldn't share their personal details with the patients for confidentiality, but surely this would be ruined as the patients would have knowledge of the psychiatrist health and possibly medications as well as any family that visit them. Where are the safety plans and safeguarding protocols for the patient psychiatrist?

 

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