AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

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AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. September 2003, Volume 5, Number 9.

Test Questions

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Test Questions: Physician Well-being and Burnout

Test Questions

1. According to commentors on the case of the impaired physician's physician, the critical factor in determining whether a physician has a duty to report an impaired patient who is also a physician is:

A. Whether the impaired physician can be rehabilitated.
B. Whether the impairment is obvious to others, including patients.
C. Whether the impairment demands alteration's in the physician's practice.
D. Whether the impairment puts patients at risk.

2. Studies quoted in the commentary on the case of the impaired physician show that physicians tend to ignore symptoms longer than non-physicians because:

A. They fear what the symptoms mean.
B. They are reluctant to interact with the health care system as patients.
C. They worry over how the illness will affect their practice.
D. They believe in the therapeutic value of denial.
E. All of the above.
F. A, B, and C.

3. Which of the following has not been shown to be an effective strategy for managing stress?

A. Exercise regularly and stay fit.
B. Learn to take more control over your environment.
C. Learn to control your reactions to workplaces stressors.
D. Create a financial plan.
E. Explore relaxation techniques, meditation, and spirituality.


4. According to a consensus statement on physician depression and suicide recently published in JAMA, the rate of suicide among physicians is:

A. Lower than that in the general population.
B. About the same as that in the general population.
C. Higher than that of the general population.


5. A survey cited in the consensus statement on physician depression and suicide published in JAMA found that medical students avoid seeking mental health services for symptoms of depression because:

A. They think excessive stress is a normal part of the medical education experience.
B. It is too expensive and time consuming.
C. They worry that their records will not remain confidential.
D. All of the above.
E. B and C.

6. Physicians who suffer from untreated depression are less able to effectively screen for, diagnose, and treat depression in their patients.

A. True
B. False

7. According to the sources for one of this month's Clinical Pearls, the suspected biological causal link between depression and heart disease:

A. Has anecdotal but no epidemiological support.
B. Has been associated with the physiological effects of adrenaline and cortisol released in stressful situations.
C. Is of little clinical importance because antidepressant medications have severe cardiac side effects themselves.
D. Disappears when age, profession, and socio-economic status are controlled for.


8. According to the clinical case commentary on managed care and physician burnout, the key factor in physician satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their jobs is:

A. Sense of control over their practice environment.
B. Sense that they are making a difference in patients' health.
C. Satisfaction with life outside work.
D. Personal financial concerns.

9. According to commentary in this month's issue, which of the following are signs of physician burnout:

A. Chronic physical symptoms and disease.
B. Feelings of alienation, cynicism, and detachment.
C. Abuse of alcohol and other mood altering symptoms.
D. All of the above.
E. B and C.


10. Commentors on the case of Dr. Wells, the competent and irascible surgeon who trains residents, agree that:

A. Because Dr. Wells's conduct does not put her patients well-being at risk, administrators would not be justified in trying to intervene.
B. Dr. Wells's conduct puts her co-workers, residents, the hospital, and her patients at risk in various ways.
C. Physician conduct like that of Dr. Wells occurs rarely and is generally the result of alcohol or substance abuse.
D. A and C.


11. According to the author of the Clinical Pearls article on yoga:

A. Yoga affects the body's hormones.
B. Yoga stretches muscles in a way that tones them without overly fatiguing them.
C. Yoga enhances lymphatic flow.
D. All of the above.
E. A and B.


12. According to journal articles on physicians' prescriptions for stress management:

A. 30 to 60 percent of practicing physicians experience burnout.
B. Physician burnout is not causally related to lower quality patient care.
C. Burnout is a euphemism for "impairment."
D. All of the above.
E. A and B.

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