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Medical board endorses CMA-sponsored bill to remove stigma around physician mental health

June 11, 2024


The Medical Board of California recently adopted a support position on California Medical Association (CMA)-sponsored Assembly Bill 2164, which would help ensure physicians can access mental health care without fear of jeopardizing their careers. 

The medical board licensure application for physicians and surgeons, including postgraduate training licensees, may inadvertently discourage physicians from seeking mental health services. The process perpetuates stigma around mental health and can exacerbate issues of burnout and depression within the medical community.  

AB 2164, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, would remove this barrier by eliminating the obligation for physicians to disclose personal medical information that does not impact their ability to practice medicine.  Removing this barrier would make it more likely for physicians to seek the mental health support they need, benefiting both themselves and their patients.  

"Physicians, like everyone else, can experience stress, burnout, and mental health challenges,” said CMA President Tanya W. Spirtos, M.D. “Seeking mental health services can be crucial for maintaining balance, resilience, and overall well-being, benefiting both physicians and their patients."  

AB 2164 has cleared its house of origin and is currently in the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee. 

 

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