Significant Uptake in Physician Mental Health Claims
in the Wake of COVID-19

Physicians, dentists and and other doctors are susceptible to mental illness, burnout, and stress, given the demanding nature of the field.  This susceptibility has only become more pronounced in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to MGIS, a national insurance program manager, claims for mental and nervous conditions ranked third among the top causes of long-term absences from work. Others in the top five for doctors include cancer, musculoskeletal conditions, injury and nervous system conditions (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease).  This was an 85.8 percent increase from claims filed in 2019.

Recent studies throughout the course of the pandemic back up what MGIS data is showing.  A Yale School of Public Health survey showed high rates of depression and PTSD, with nearly one quarter of doctors showing signs of probable PTSD.  A Washington Post – Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that three in ten doctors and other health care workers have considered leaving their profession, 50 percent are burned out, and six in ten say stress from the pandemic has harmed their mental health.

As these studies show, stress, burnout and other mental illnesses have become an even bigger problem in the workplace during COVID-19—often leading to the need to miss work and sometimes the need to file a professional disability insurance claim.  However, as you might imagine, mental health claims are often subject to heightened scrutiny by disability insurance companies and can be more difficult to prove up given their subjective nature.  If you are a physician, dentist or other doctor with mental health concerns relating to COVID-19 and are and thinking of filing a claim, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys directly.


Mental and Nervous Long-Term Disability Claims for Healthcare Professionals Jumped Significantly in 2020, Cision PR Newswire, August 17, 2021,

Matt Kristoffersen, Burnout, Alcohol, PTSD: Health Workers Are Suffering, Yale School of Medicine, February 17, 2021,

William Wan, Burned out by the pandemic, 3 in 10 health-care workers consider leaving the profession, The Washington Post, April 22, 2021,


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