Physicians Anonymous is a unique program for doctors to access confidential and anonymous and professional peer support from other physicians who have walked the wards, who may have burned out and recovered, and who are now thriving.
By sharing our experience, strength, and hope, our intention is to reduce physician burnout and physician suicide, compassion fatigue, moral injury, mental illness, and substance abuse — and related trauma for our spouses/significant others, parents, children, and patients.
Physicians Anonymous’s mission is to prevent and treat physician burnout and suicide across the US, and globally, using anonymous peer-support groups and evidence-based strategies for doctors and institutions.
We would like to halve the physician burnout rate and suicide within 10 years.
Because too many of us are burning out, getting depressed or addicted, and dying by suicide. And there are too many barriers in the current system to physicians getting preventive help. By offering group-based peer support on an anonymous basis, we hope to tackle the epidemic of physician burnout and worse.
Because our founders have deep experience of burnout, mental illness, addiction, and suicide.
Our personal stories are here:
A Physician Burnout Story (Part 1)
Dr Phoenix: Those left behind
We are growing organically as an anonymous fellowship of mutual support which we hope will eventually span the globe – physicians supporting physicians to keep ourselves well, and in turn give better care to our patients.
Only medical students and physicians can join. We have a special registration process to confirm that you are a genuine physician while preserving your anonymity. The only other requirement for membership is a desire to get peer support from other doctors.
To ensure that only qualified physicians access this group, and also maintain anonymity, we have a strong vetting process. Therefore, for the safety and confidentiality of our members, we want to make sure that you are a genuine physician.
First, you send us an email to info (at) physiciansanonymous.org requesting registration. Then, we arrange an audio-only call through a phone number masking platform where we will ask questions that only physicians are likely to know the answers to. Then you will receive our confidential registration link.
Once accepted, you can choose a pseudonym to use in the forums and peer-support groups. If the name has been taken, try another.
We do not ask for your:
We have through trial and error found that this registration process has the best sensitivity and specificity, and level of protection.
We recommend that you use your private email instead of your work one.
You may also wish to consider setting up a separate email using Gmail, or an anonymous email address using one of these free services: ProtonMail or Tutanota.
We use SSL technology with the highest level of website protection, anonymity, and a vetting process to ensure utmost security.
As anonymous as you chose it to be. We suggest you use a personal or private email address rather than your institutional one, and use an alias as opposed to your real name. If you want to add another level of security for yourself, you can create a brand new email address just for the sake of your membership at our website.
No. We will not. Even if we wanted to, we won’t know who you are because you are using an alias to register at our site.
We have both individual and group support sessions available upon request. As part of our clinical governance, our coaches and group facilitators are trained in managing various scenarios. Given the high prevalence of mental illness and addiction among us, it is essential to have pathways for people to get extra support.
We work with clinicians and coaches who have experience in dealing with struggling, morally injured, and sick doctors, and offer excellent support combined with the highest levels of confidentiality.
Physicians anonymous is:
Physicians Anonymous is not:
No. While we borrowed the “Anonymous” bit from AA and are very grateful to the founders of AA who inspired so many amazing recoveries, Physicians Anonymous is not just for doctors with addictions, but of course we have members who are addicts (including Dr Corrigan).
It is for any doctor with any difficulty that is hard for them to talk about in other spaces. These difficulties may include: overwhelm, burnout, moral injury, trauma, mental illness, addiction, or suicidal thinking.
Physicians don’t often reach out for help – reasons why are given here.
So we have created anonymous groups to provide safe spaces for confidential doctor-only peer support from fellow physicians who have walked a mile of hospital corridors in your scrubs.
We also offer Coaching and Mentoring by our approved partners. Each are personally vetted by our team. Fewer than 10% of applicants are accepted by us.
Part of our vision is for there to be meetings every day of the week in every time zone, in order to be there for any doctor at any time.
After all if 63% of us are burned out, that’s a lot of doctors who are suffering (there are 1 million doctors in the US alone. Do the math!)
Physicians Anonymous has been designed to be self-organizing and to grow organically.
To become a facilitator requires experience of our free peer-support groups, a 1 hour training session, and vetting by ourselves. Peer-support group facilitators are voluntary positions currently.
The time commitment is ~1hr a week. Meetings are held via Zoom/equivalent.
If you would like to find out more or sign up for the wait list for the next training, please contact us via email: info (at) physiciansanonymous.org or leave a message on our contact page.
We would LOVE to hear from you!
Send an email to: info (at) physiciansanonymous.org or leave a message on our contact page.
Dr Corrigan, co-founder, can also be contacted on LinkedIn.
Physician Support Line (US only)
Psychiatrists Supporting Physicians
Click here or call:
1 (888) 409-0141
Free & Confidential. No appointment necessary. Available 7 days a week.
If you are having thoughts of wanting to end your life,
please first call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
1-800-273-8255 or call 911 if in imminent danger.
For our living document, Global Physician Suicide Prevention and Well-being Resources, click here.