Hidden risks in the operating room

Anesthetists make up just three per cent of all doctors but account for 20 to 30 per cent of drug-addicted MDs. Experts say anesthetists are overrepresented in addiction treatment programs, an occupational hazard that could pose catastrophic risks to their patients.
Anesthetists have access to every controlled substance imaginable, and virtually no dispensing system. Many start using to deal with stress, emotional pain or burn-out.
Dr. Brian Warriner, professor and chair of the department of anesthesiology, pharmacology and therapeutics at UBC, says that the field of anesthesia has grown increasingly safe over the years. “But in a perverse sort of way, that increases the pressure, because if anything does go wrong, there’s this sense that it must have been the anesthetist’s [error].”

Vancouver Sun, Sat Feb 11 2012, Page: B3, By: Sharon Kirkey, Link to full text