“Treatment in programs designed for health care professionals addresses the issues unique to physicians and other health care personnel,’’ according to the article in Minnesota Medicine. “Physicians who get involved in appropriate treatment and monitoring programs have remarkable recovery rates.’’
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 32 – No 06 – June 2013
A key component of the success of these programs seems to be the physician’s ability to interact with medical colleagues, who identify with the unique combination of stressors facing doctors.
The programs typically contract with recovering physicians and require adherence to specific criteria including group therapy, individual therapy, mutual help meetings such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, monitoring and oversight, drug screening and workplace monitoring. The recovery rate for physicians, according to the article in Minnesota Medicine, is 74 percent to 90 percent.
For physicians facing stress related to litigation, including depression, Dr. Andrew hosts a website, www.mdmentor.com, that offers numerous resources. Physicians and their colleagues and families are also encouraged to visit ACEP’s website for contacts, information about physician impairment, and referrals.
ACEP is also trying to broaden the definition of physician impairment to include aging, fatigue and other issues which can influence how well physicians do their jobs.
“We feel that by broadening this, there may be more acceptance of the issue,’’ Bromley said. “As a College, we have tried to take some of the stigma out of admitting you need help.’’