In the United States, a physician must disclose their mental health status on state medical licensure applications to practice medicine, despite this requirement being known to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Stigma surrounding mental health, especially within the medical community, is widespread, and the state disclosure requirement has been shown to be a barrier to physicians when trying to seek mental health care. To date, a review of the current literature to synthesize the perceptions of medical students and physicians has not been performed. A rapid systematic review protocol was therefore conducted from January 1, 2022-April 30, 2022, to search the available literature and summarize the perceptions of state medical licensure applications and mental health treatment. Searches were conducted in PubMed and Scopus, and relevant articles were selected from those published in the last 10 years in the United States. Five studies were selected which all comprised of survey data and offered insights into the willingness of physicians and medical students to disclosure a mental health condition on state medical licensure applications in addition to the perceived consequences of disclosing a mental condition and the prevalence of mental health conditions among those in the medical community. All studies identified that state medical licensure questions regarding mental health were perceived as barriers to seeking treatment. Findings of this review indicate that further public health interventions should be employed to redesign state medical licensure applications to better support physician wellness and burnout.
Tokash, Isabelle, "Mental Health Disclosure and State Medical Licensure Requirements" (2022). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 462.