It’s not the sort of thing that they like to discuss, but there’s a good chance that your doctor or consultant might have had a drink or three before he saw you. A recent poll has discovered that one in five doctors and consultants was so affected by drink that their judgment was impaired. In all, nearly half of all hospital consultants reckoned that ‘social drinking’ while on call was acceptable.
This worrying picture could actually be far worse – one consultant who participated in the study doubted that questions about drinking would be answered honestly.
There’s also a cultural difference to drinking between doctors in the UK and the USA, where alcohol consumption while on duty is frowned upon. In fact nearly 90 per cent of American doctors said the practice was unacceptable.
The UK view is very different, and it seems almost to be encouraged. Some hospitals provide a drinks bar for doctors, which The Lancet describes as “a necessary social, learning, and debriefing environment”. It’s also where you can buy alcohol while on duty.
It’s no wonder that UK hospitals are plagued by MRSA. We reckon it stands for More Rum and Soda Available.