Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

'I wonder what happened to that patient in ED today. Hope he didn't die. Hmmm, can't stop thinking about him... Just finished watching my favourite TV show. Couldn't concentrate – still thinking about that patient.

Next day:
In the ward, reading the notes. 'No, my diagnosis was right – all the tests have been ordered. It'll be fine'.

Next month:
'I can't stop thinking about that patient. Was there something else that I may have missed? I'd better call up the notes from medical records to check, just to be sure ...'



Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is common in junior doctors. It's part of being overly competitive, conscientious and perfectionistic.

Certain thoughts (obsessions) and behaviours (compulsions) are repeated over and over again. When these compulsions interfere with your daily activities and take over your life, you should seek help.

What can you do about OCD?

If you fit the diagnostic criteria for OCD, seek professional help.



An initiative of the Doctors’ Health Advisory Service (NSW), the Medical Benevolent Association, the AMA Doctors in Training Group, the Resident Medical Officers’ Associations, the Australian Medical Students’ Association, the Clinical Education and Training Institute and the NSW Employee Assistance Program with funding from the Medical Board of NSW (2009).