There is, I’ve discovered, a common denominator that runs through most of the men and women who have survived medical school, residency and are out there making a living as a physician. In looking back almost all of them would say that, whether they treated it or not, they suffered from anxiety at some level.

I can relate to that. I suffer anxiety, probably to a much lower degree, whenever I leave the upper Arkansas river valley here in Colorado and am forced to drive through Denver. It’s that same feeling you get when you go to Disney World and spend 15 minutes going through It’s A Small World and then have to exit back out into the line of 6 billion people moving usually in the opposite direction of where you want to go. But, enough about my low tolerance for stress.

Medical students and residents often, justifiably, seek help for stress and anxiety. It is also very common that this treatment is simply dispensed by the doctors they are working with, without a lot of fanfare. And very often without any accompanying medical record notations. It’s a whole other subject, but doctors are famous for just taking care of each other and not keeping records of it.

There usually isn’t any issue with this until the new physician wants to acquire life insurance. Being the honest folks they are they admit to having used anti-anxiety medication and if the happen to have applied with the wrong company they might get approved at a standard rate or worse. Some companies will decline them because they don’t have medical record documentation. What we have found is that if the case is shopped and all of the issues are noted up front, there are plenty of companies that are willing to overlook the anxiety and lack of records and find their way to preferred or preferred plus approvals.

What I’ve found is that it has more to do with presentation than content. What I mean by that is an underwriter is far more likely to rate a case like this favorably if they have seen a synopsis first and know the story. If they are just seeing on an application that someone used Xanax during college and there aren’t any medical records to look at, that isn’t something an underwriter is going to want to stamp a preferred plus approval on, especially for $2 or $3 million of physician’s life insurance.

Bottom line. If you need a large amount of life insurance and/or have any medical issues in the past and your agent doesn’t due their job by shopping it and getting an underwriter on board first, get another agent. Getting rated or declined isn’t the end of the world, but it is a waste of time and in most cases avoidable.