Who is a professional? The simple answer is that a professional is a person. A person like any other, and like any other they are fallible and prone to making mistakes. As with other people, professionals can get sick and can suffer from addiction and mental health problems. As doctors, we are trained to recognise this in our patients and we do so on a daily basis. However, when it comes to our colleagues, these issues seem to be less easily seen and less easily dealt with.
There has always been reluctance amongst the medical profession to report on our colleagues. Having come through such laborious training to become a doctor, we realise what is at stake for our colleagues if they were found unfit to practise. We identify with the stresses they feel and hope that nothing like that would ever happen to us.