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Physicians Consider Self-Prescribing Ethical

Most physicians consider writing a prescription for themselves "ethical," but only about half see it as "healthy," and few consider it "necessary". Medical student Robert Wroblewski and others at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, surveyed 300 urban and rural physicians to determine general attitudes towards self-prescription. An earlier study had indicated that about half of all residents prescribe for themselves. //

According to the survey, the most commonly prescribed drugs were antibiotics, followed by antidepressants and cardiovascular disease medications. About 75% of the urban physicians considered self-prescription ethical compared with only 58% of rural physicians. About half of all physicians considered self-prescription healthy and about 80% did not consider self-prescription "necessary."

Wroblewski speculated that the main reason physicians self-prescribe is that it is more convenient for them to treat themselves than to have another physician do it.

"Unfortunately, physicians live a very hectic, fast-paced lifestyle and it's just easier," Wroblewski explained. "Time is perhaps the major issue."


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