The research was initiated because of concern about the relatively high mortality and morbidity rates of doctors for suicide and conditions such as liver disease, compared to other professional groups.
In addition the stresses of medical work and the environment in which it takes place are increasingly recognised as endangering mental health. It is felt that by improving the way doctors' health is managed, problems will be addressed earlier, risks to patients will be limited and the number of doctors leaving the profession will be reduced.
Silvester S, Allen H, Withey C, Morgan M and Holland WW (1994) The provision of medical services to sick doctors: A conspiracy of friendliness? Nuffield Trust.