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Research & Studies

Browse WPHP’s archive of selected articles, publications, podcasts, videos, and presentations. Filter by topic or medium below.

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Physician Health Programmes and Malpractice Claims: Reducing Risk through Monitoring

"Physician health programmes (PHPs) are peer-assistance organizations that provide support to physicians struggling with addiction or with physical or mental health challenges. While the services they offer are setting new standards for recovery and care, they are not immune to public debate and criticism since some have concerns about those who are enrolled in, or have completed, such programmes and their subsequent ability to practice medicine safely."

Physician Impairment and Rehabilitation: Reintegration Into Medical Practice While Ensuring Patient Safety: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians

"Physicians share a commitment to care for ill persons, including each other. When physicians become impaired and are unable to practice competently, they should seek medical help and assistance in caring for their patients. When they cannot or do not do so, the profession and individual physicians have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of patients and assist colleagues in obtaining help."

Physician Health Program Act

"The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the purpose of this Act is to enhance the protection of the public by providing for a successful means of confidential and professional support of physicians and other licensed health care professionals who have a potentially impairing substance use disorder, mental health condition, or other medical disease that may adversely affect the physician’s or other health care professional’s ability to safely and effectively treat patients."

The Sick Physician Impairment by Psychiatric Disorders, Including Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

Accountability to the public, through assurance of competent care to patients by physicians and other health professionals, is a paramount responsibility of organized medicine. Occasionally such accountability is jeopardized by physicians whose functioning has been impaired by psychiatric disorders, including alcoholism and drug dependence. An equally important issue is the effective treatment and rehabilitation of the physician-patient so that he can be restored to a useful life.

Outcomes of a Monitoring Program for Physicians with Mental and Behavioral Health Problems

"Most states have programs that provide structured monitoring for physicians with substance use disorders (Substance Use Disorders (SUD)s). In recent years, the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Physician Health Services (PHS) program has used a similarly structured approach to monitor physicians with other mental and behavioral health (MBehavioral Health) problems. The objective of this study was to determine the outcomes of the PHS monitoring programs for Substance Use Disorders (SUD)s and MBehavioral Health problems, compare their overall success rates, and identify correlates of success."

Details on Suicide Among US Physicians: Data from the National Violent Death Reporting System

"Physician suicide is an important public health problem as the rate of suicide is higher among physicians than the general population. Unfortunately, few studies have evaluated information about mental health comorbidities and psychosocial stressors which may contribute to physician suicide. We sought to evaluate these factors among physicians versus non-physician suicide victims."

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