The Effects of Becoming a Physician on Prescription Drug Use and Mental Health Treatment
There is evidence that physicians disproportionately suffer from substance use disorder and mental health problems. It is not clear, however, whether these phenomena are causal. We use data on Dutch medical school applicants to examine the effects of becoming a physician on prescription drug use and the receipt of treatment from a mental health facility. Leveraging variation from lottery outcomes that determine admission into medical schools, we find that becoming a physician increases the use of antidepressants, opioids, anxiolytics, and sedatives, especially for female physicians. Among female applicants towards the bottom of the GPA distribution, becoming a physician increases the likelihood of receiving treatment from a mental health facility.
We thank Andy Hanssen, Sarah Miller, Melinda Pitts, Riley Shearer, and participants at the 2021 Southern Economic Association Annual Meeting for comments and suggestions. Financial support from MICIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 (CEX2021-001181-M) and Comunidad de Madrid (EPUC3M11 (V PRICIT) and H2019/HUM-5891) is gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
D. Mark Anderson & Ron Diris & Raymond Montizaan & Daniel I. Rees, 2023. "The Effects of Becoming a Physician on Prescription Drug Use and Mental Health Treatment," Journal of Health Economics, . citation courtesy of