In a survey of 1794 UK NHS hospital consultants 1308 (73%) responded.
Psychiatric morbidity (General Health Questionnaire—12 score ⩾4) was present
in 32% of responders, who were twice as likely to report drinking hazardous
levels of alcohol, being irritable with patients and colleagues, reducing
their standards of care and intending to retire early (all
P<0.001). Male and mid-aged consultants were also
particularly at risk. Approaches that support consultants to practice
medicine safely throughout their careers are required.