The effect of becoming a physician on prescription drug use

D. Mark Anderson, Ron Diris, Raymond Montizaan, Daniel I. Rees

Research output: Non-textual / digital / web - outputsWeb publication/siteProfessional


There is evidence that physicians suffer disproportionately from substance use disorders, but no clear understanding of whether the phenomenon is causal. This column uses data from Dutch medical school applicants to examine the effects of becoming a physician on prescription drug use. Leveraging variation from lottery outcomes that determine admission into medical schools, it finds that the choice to become a physician – as opposed to individual-level traits such as personality, intelligence, or perseverance – increases the use of antidepressants, opioids, anxiolytics, and sedatives, especially for women.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2022

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