Articles  |   July 2014
Substance Use Disorder in Anesthesiology Residents: Still a Serious Problem
Author Affiliations
  • David O. Warner, M.D.
    American Board of Anesthesiology
    Director
  • Keith H. Berge, M.D.
    Chemical Dependency Task Force, Committee on Occupational Health
    Chair
Article Information
Education / CPD / Articles
Articles   |   July 2014
Substance Use Disorder in Anesthesiology Residents: Still a Serious Problem
ASA Monitor 07 2014, Vol.78, 38-39.
ASA Monitor 07 2014, Vol.78, 38-39.
Physician anesthesiologists have long suspected that substance use disorder (SUD) is a particular “occupational hazard” of the profession, perhaps because of our ready access to potent opioids and other substances with high abuse potential. Current knowledge of the natural history of SUD among physician anesthesiologists is taken largely from surveys of anesthesiology training program directors and reports from physician health programs, both of which have significant limitations. Basic questions remain unanswered, e.g., how often does SUD occur? What are the outcomes, including successful return to practice, relapse or death? Is the problem getting better or worse? This information is of fundamental importance in determining both overall policies and recommendations for the management of individuals who develop SUD, areas that are not without controversy.1 
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