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April 28, 1999

Self-prescribing by Physicians

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(16):1488-1490. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-16-jbk0428

To the Editor: As Dr Christie and colleagues1 have so aptly pointed out, it appears that many physicians embrace the doctrine of self-prescription a little too well. The real problem does not really lie with antibiotics and allergy medicines, but rather with the self-prescribing of sedatives and pain medicines. This sets up a pattern of use that may culminate in drug abuse and dependence. As suggested by Hughes et al2 and others, the self-use of medicines among residents is more for self-treatment than for recreation.

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