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  • sdadmin
    Keymaster
    September 21, 2018 at 10:23 am #1501
    1. WHEREAS, a 2013 study published in General Hospital Psychiatry found that of about 203 physicians
    2. that succeeded in committing suicide, toxicology results showed a low rate of pharmaceutical treatment
    3. and analysis of victim cases showed that many were mentally ill or experienced problems related to job
    4. stress1,2; and
    1. WHEREAS, a 2016 survey of 2106 female physicians found that nearly 50% felt that they met criteria
    2. for a mental illness but refused treatment3; and
    1. WHEREAS, “fear of reporting the diagnosis to a medical licensing board” and “belief that a diagnosis
    2. was embarrassing or shameful” are two reasons that were given by surveyed female physicians behind
    3. not receiving treatment for their mental illness3; and
    1. WHEREAS, for female physicians with a formal diagnosis in this survey, only 6% disclosed their
    2. diagnosis on medical licensing applications3; and
    1. WHEREAS, a 2017 review looked at physician state licensing applications from 2013 for first time
    2. applicants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and found that 84% (43 applications) asked about
    3. mental health conditions, 53% (23 applications) only asked about conditions that cause functional
    4. impairment, and 14% (6 applications) only asked about current conditions4; and
    1. WHEREAS, questions on state licensing examinations regarding any past or current history of mental
    2. illness or treatment for mental illness may constitute discrimination in that having any history of a
    3. diagnosis or treatment may affect the ability of the individual to obtain licensure or employment5; and
    1. WHEREAS, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), a qualified
    2. individual with disabilities (defined as “An employee or job applicant who meets all legitimate skill,
    3. experience, education and other requirements of a position and can perform the essential functions of the
    4. position with or without reasonable accommodation.”6) may not be discriminated against in any
    5. employment practices6; and
    1. WHEREAS, the ADAAA has been expanded to include mental impairments in the definition of
    2. “disability”6; and
    1. WHEREAS, individuals that called a crisis hotline in the US or UK and spoke with a counselor
    2. (professionally trained or volunteer) experienced “reductions in suicidal thoughts, self-harm ideation,
    3. distress, and hopelessness at the end of their call”7; and
    1. WHEREAS, about 50% individuals that spoke with conselours on the crisis hotline accessed the mental
    2. health services that they were referred to on the hotline7; therefore, be it

    1. RESOLVED, that Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) support development of a plan to
    2. create a twenty-four-hour, anonymous, crisis helpline that is directed towards assisting medical students
    3. in crisis and, be it further
    1. RESOLVED, that the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) support development of a plan to
    2. create a twenty-four-hour, anonymous, crisis helpline that is directed towards assisting physicians and
    3. residents in crisis and, be it further
    1. RESOLVED, that SOMA and the AOA support the removal of questions on physician state licensing
    2. applications that specify if the applicant has ever had any history of mental illness and, be it further
    1. RESOLVED, that SOMA and the AOA support questions on physician state licensing applications that
    2. specifically ask is the individual has any health conditions that result in, or have resulted in mental
    3. incompetence in the past, or currently.

    Explanatory Statement
    Questions on the physician state licensing applications that ask about any current or past history of mental illness or treatment for mental illness may be violating the ADAAA. Furthermore, a physician that struggled with a mental illness years ago compared to those that are currently in crisis or may be considered a threat to themselves or others, are incredibly different scenarios that should not be grouped together under these broad questions that threaten licensure and employment.

    References

    1. Gold, K. J., & Schwenk, T. L. (2013). Details on suicide among US physicians: Data fromthe National Violent Death Reporting System. General Hospital Psychiatry,35(1). doi:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.08.005
    2. Center, C., Davis, M., Detre, T., Ford, D. E., Hansbrough, W., Hendin, H., Laszlo, J., Litts, D.A., Mann, J., Mansky, P.A., Michels, R., Miles, S.H., Proujansky, R., Reynolds, C.F. 3rd, Silverman, M. M. (2003). Confronting Depression and Suicide in Physicians. JAMA, 289(23), 3161. doi:10.1001/jama.289.23.3161
    3. Gold, K. J., Andrew, L. B., Goldman, E. B., & Schwenk, T. L. (2016). “I would never want to have a mental health diagnosis on my record”: A survey of female physicians on mental health diagnosis, treatment, and reporting. [Abstract]. General Hospital Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2016.09.004
    4. Gold, K. J., Shih, E. R., Goldman, E. B., & Schwenk, T. L. (2017). Do US Medical Licensing Applications Treat Mental and Physical Illness Equivalently? Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, 49(6), 464-467. Retrieved July 12, 2018
    5. Polfliet, S. J. (2008). A National Analysis of Medical Licensure Applications. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law,36(3). Retrieved July 12, 2018, from http://jaapl.org/content/jaapl/36/3/369.full.pdf
    6. Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). (2018). Retrieved July 12, 2018, from https://www.ncld.org/archives/action-center/learn-the-law/americans-with-disabilities-act-amendments-act
    7. Crisis Lines. (2017, December 18). Retrieved September 14, 2018, from http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/take-action-to-improve-health/what-works-for-health/policies/crisis-lines

    Submitted by:
    Samantha Ashley Gooch, OMS II – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Mayen Gonzalez Tirse, OMS II – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Sven Wang, OMS II – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Justine Harris McKee, OMS II – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Aerial Petty, OMS II – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Carlos Garcia Galindo, OMS II – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Action Taken:

    Date:

    Effective Time Period: Ongoing