The Covid-19 pandemic led to the deaths of 50 doctors in the UK, 150 in Italy and over 700 in India. Infectious diseases are an obvious risk for medical students and doctors, but there are also many other risks that can imperil their well-being and lives. These include violent assaults; addiction to opioids and other drugs; death in motor vehicle accidents related to sleep deprivation; bullying and harassment; and burn-out, depression and suicide. Some suicides have been linked to being subject to investigation of allegations of unprofessional conduct or impairment.
The book documents these dangers and explains why doctors subconsciously perceive themselves to be invulnerable and why they face obstacles in accessing medical care. It makes recommendations for improving the working conditions and lives of medical students and doctors, and pushes for major changes to the ‘national scheme’ for the regulation of the health professions.