Issue #19 July 2017

CPPPH e-newsletter covering a range of issues about physician health Is this email not displaying correctly?
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Each email from us focuses on one or more of these areas:

  • Aging
  • Burnout/Stress«
  • Case finding and early identification
  • Committee policies and procedures«
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Guidelines
  • Resources«
  • Specialty issues
  • Substance use/abuse
  • Wellness«

Find more on these subjects at

Confidential Assistance Over the Phone

The Physicians’ and Dentists’ Confidential Assistance Line is a 24-hour phone service providing completely confidential doctor-to-doctor assistance for physicians experiencing substance use or mental health issues. Call:

  • (650) 756-7787
    (northern California)
  • (213) 383-2691
    (southern California)

Send Us Your Comments

We want to hear from you. Send comments to

Evidence-based Approaches to Burnout

Within the profession now, the focus is moving toward getting the evidence to help organizations determine what works.  See “Development of a Research Agenda to Identify Evidence-Based Strategies to Improve Physician Wellness and Reduce Burnout” by nine differnt experts. One, Mickey Trockel, MD, will be part of the August 24th conference offered by CSAM and CPPPH:  Stories & Strategies to Engage Providers and Address Burnout. 

Malpractice Claims Reduced When Physician is Monitored

A study conducted in Colorado of malpractice claims against physicians who had been in physician health programs (PHPs) was published in Occupational Medicine in 2013: “Physician health programs and malpractice claims: reducing risk through monitoring.” Occupational Medicine 2013;63:274–280.

The study was conducted with funding from the Colorado Physicians Insurance Company. It looked at doctors who were discharged from the Colorado PHP. The data showed that for every $1.00 spent on the comparison group, the PHP graduates required $0.80 — a 20% reduction in malpractice risk than the matched cohort.  In the article, the authors mention several possible reasons why PHP monitoring may reduce the risk of future malpractice claims.


CPPPH regional workshops in June and July focus on monitoring as it is conducted for and by medical staff wellbeing committees. Materials for those workshops include a copy of The New Paradigm for Recovery from the Institute on Behavioral Health. 

The well-referenced 34-page report provides an historical overview of physician health programs in the US and their contributions to the establishment of recovery as the expected outcome of addiction treatment.  “PHPs set the standard.”

“Although monitoring for compliance is conducted for other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, the monitoring of substance use disorders by organizations of professionals is unique in that it is mandatory, intensive and prolonged.” 

The paper includes a brief overview of programs for nurses, commercial airline pilots and lawyers as well as a description of some addition treatment programs and some independent monitoring programs.

Find a copy of the report among the articles on the CPPPH website.

What to Look For in Your Policies and Procedures

Copies of these guidelines will be helpful. They are available, on request, at no cost, from the CPPPH website

  • Behaviors that Undermine a Culture of Safety: Polices and Procedures for Medical Staffs and Medical Groups (2017)
  • Assessing Late Career Practitioners: Policies and Procedures for Age-based Screening (2015)
  • Guidelines for Evaluations of Health Care Professionals (2013)
  • Guideline for Selecting Physician Health Services (2011)

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Issue #19, July 2017

Our mailing address is:
1201 J Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, California 95814

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