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Heal Thyself: The Health of Health Care Professionals

Ronald L. Martin, MD
JAMA. 1986;256(11):1502. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380110108042.
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Health care professionals attend to the health of others. What about their own health? Are they more or less likely to suffer the same ills that afflict those they treat? Are they at risk for any additional health problems? What effect does their health status have on the care they provide? These important questions are receiving increasing attention, as documented in this book.

These concerns are not new. The inspiration for the title, "Physician, heal thyself' (Luke 4:23), traces such inquiry at least to the time of the New Testament. Self-scrutiny by the health care profession is not new either. Tradition holds that St Luke was himself a physician. Indeed, the 29 contributors to the current text are health care providers and include physicians, nurses, and dentists.

Health care providers are certainly not immune to health problems. The prevailing tone of the 20 chapters of this book is that the


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