Has Your Surgeon Been Drinking?

A recently completed study found that alcoholism among surgeons may be more common than many people thought. The survey requested answers from 25,000 surgeons. While only 7,197 surgeons answered the survey, 1,112 of the surgeons met the criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse.

From the data collected, researchers found that about 14% of male surgeons and about 26% of female surgeons abuse alcohol or are dependent on alcohol.

The study published in the February 2012 issue of the Archives of Surgery found this to be a significant problem. Yet, researchers also point out that the study did not look at whether alcohol use among surgeons resulted in more medical errors. Researchers in this study have stated that they do not believe that alcohol abuse is a significant risk to patients. However, a previous study published in the April
2011 issue of the Archives of Surgery found that more medical errors were associated with surgeries done the day after a surgeon was drinking.

Given the statistics would you be concerned about your surgeon and potential medical errors caused by alcohol abuse? Have you been hurt by a negligent surgeon? Please leave a comment and let us know.