Chemical dependence in anaesthetic registrars in Australia and New Zealand

A. M. Weeks, M. R. Buckland, E. B. Morgan, P. S. Myles

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The Supervisors of Anaesthetic Training in Australia and New Zealand were surveyed and asked to report any cases of chemical dependence from anaesthetic registrars at their hospital from 1981 to 1991. From 83 questionnaires there were 65 (78%) returned There were 14 departments (22%) with experience of one or more cases during this interval. Only five (7%) reported conducting a lecture or tutorial on the problem. The departmental reports covered 4425 registrar years of training and there were 17 cases reported. Of these, 13 were complete and are considered in detail It is estimated that 1.3% of those who entered anaesthetic training during the interval were recognised to become chemically dependent during their training Follow-up was available on only six of the 13 registrars and only one was reported to have completed training. The results of this survey indicate that chemical dependence is already a major health problem amongst anaesthetic registrars in Australia and New Zealand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Anaesthetists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Chemical dependence
  • Professional impairment
  • Substance abuse

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