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Medical licensure questions keep doctors from seeking help for mental health conditions

Medical Licensing Boards Continue To Ask About Current, Past Mental Health Conditions On Initial And Renewal Applications, Researchers Say.

Medscape (10/6, Brooks) reported, “Medical licensing boards continue to ask about current and past mental health conditions on initial and renewal applications, a practice that creates a major barrier to physicians seeking mental health care,” researchers concluded.

In fact, almost “40% of physicians surveyed said they would be reluctant to seek formal medical care for treatment of a mental health problem because of concern that this may put their medical license in jeopardy.” The study authors wrote, “In this national study of nearly all (94.1%) medical licensure board applications, only one-third of states (16 of 48 [33.3%]) had questions on initial and renewal application forms that were congruent with the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and Federation of State Medical Boards polices and recommendations or in clear compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.”

The findings were published in the October issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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