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March 6, 2002

Physicians' Feelings About Themselves and Their Patients

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(9):1113-1114. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1109

To the Editor: In their discussion of the inner life of physicians, Dr Meier and colleagues1 propose a medical model to address emotionally sensitive issues that most physicians keep secret. The medical model that I use to understand such issues is that of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is defined as a set of typical symptoms that develop after a person sees, is involved in, or hears of an "extreme traumatic stressor."2 Although PTSD has been described as a consequence of rape, war, bombings, or other obvious overt traumas,3 it is usually not considered a result of medical training.