Four years experience of a hospital's impaired physician committee.

Research paper by R P RP Schwartz, R K RK White, D R DR McDuff, J L JL Johnson

Indexed on: 01 Jan '95Published on: 01 Jan '95Published in: Journal of addictive diseases


Physician impairment contributes to patient morbidity, malpractice claims, physician license loss and suicide. This paper describes four years of experience of the University of Maryland's Professional Assistance Committee. The committee is composed of medical staff members. Its mission is to help impaired physicians obtain assessment, treatment and monitoring, and to protect patients from harm. The committee has evaluated 23 cases over the past four years. Ten were credential checks, and 13 investigations of active problems. Eight of the 23 cases were for alcohol, eight for drug, and seven for behavioral problems. Only one person lost medical staff privileges. The committee has been well accepted by the medical staff and hospital administration and can be easily reproduced in other hospitals.