Issue #21 July 2019

CPPPH | July 2019 eNews 
CPPPH e-newsletter covering a range of issues about physician health Is this email not displaying correctly?
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After a hiatus of about a year, the CPPPH newsletter resumes a publication schedule aiming to keep readers abreast of current developements and relevant information about physician health and wellbeing in California.

All past issues of CPPPH newsletter are available from the CPPPH website:

Confidential Assistance Over the Phone

The Physicans' 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)

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Physician Impairment and Rehabilitation

The American College of Physicians position paper titled “Physician Impairment and Rehabilitation: Reintegration into Medical Practice While Ensuring Patient Safety” in Annals of Internal Medicine 2019;170(12):871-879 was published at on 4 June 2019. (9 pages, 63 references) Click Here For The Full Article.

The article begins with the five statements of position from the ACP Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee (EPHRC).  Each is one sentence.  The rest of the article provides the rationale for each position.

From the abstract: “Physician impairment, the inability to carry out patient care responsibilities safely and effectively, is a problem of functioning. However, the presence or treatment of a potentially impairing illness or other condition does not necessarily imply impairment. This American College of Physicians position paper examines the professional duties and principles that should guide the response of colleagues and the profession to physician impairment.

Two Other Publications of Interest

The May/June 2019 issue of San Francisco Marin Medicine, the Journal of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society, is devoted to physician wellness and burnout and includes an article Physician Substance Abuse in California” by Greg Skipper, MD.  You can read the article HERE.

The Art and Science of Physician Wellbeing: A Handbook for Physicians and Trainees 
In this 286-page book, the editors from Stanford faculty, Laura Weiss Roberts, MD and Mickey Trockel, MD, PhD, bring together 15 authors for 15 chapters on topics such as Substance Use Disorders, Mental Illness, Legal Issues, The Electronic Heath Record, Burnout, Creating a Culture of Wellness.    For each topic, the text is linked to references listed at the end of each chapter.  Available from Springer as eBook $89 or softcover $119.  Click Here For Information About The Book

A Physician Health Program for California – Where Things Stand in July 2019 

SB1177 (passed in 2016) authorized the Medical Board of California to establish a Physician Health and Wellness Program “as defined.”  “As defined” means the many things specified in the authorizing legislation, including the requirement that the new program comply with each of the 16 Uniform Standards created in 2008 by SB1441.  

On April 5, 2018, the Medical Board sent its draft regulations for how the new program would operate to Department of Consumer Affairs for review and is now awaiting DCA's approval.

The next steps, after DCA approval, are to submit the draft regulations to the Office of Administrative Law and publish them for comment and hold public hearings.

Meanwhile, the Department of Consumer Affairs has undertaken the review of the Uniform Standards that was required by a SB796 (2017) to determine whether one of them should be updated to reflect current practice in drug testing.  For this review, California Society of Addiction Medicine submitted comments and recommended changes to bring the Uniform Standards into line with the evidence and experience of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs.

No dates for next steps have been announced.

A more detailed status report appeared in Issue #20 of CPPPH Newsletter. See it HERE.

CMA Well Physician 

The California Medical Association (CMA) has made physician wellness and the prevention of burnout a core priority. CMA has collaborated with Tate Shanafelt, MD and his colleague at the Stanford WellMD Center; Mickey Trockel, M.D., Ph.D., to launch Well Physician California. See CMA has described it as the most comprehensive effort in the country to increase physician wellness as a vehicle to improve the quality of care they provide patients.  See the May 8 announcement from CMA HERE.

Wellness and Wellbeing: What's the Difference?

Wellness activities address quality of life and professional satisfaction for all physicians.

Wellness activities seek to identify the incidence and prevalence of burnout, identify what will prevent burnout as a factor that impairs the physician’s health and professional commitment, and provide resources for physicians already suffering the effects of burnout and professional stresses.

The target population is all physicians.

Wellbeing activities are different. The target population is not all physicians; it is the physicians with conditions that have the potential to impair their ability to provide safe medical care.

Wellbeing activities have the dual purpose of protecting patient safety and providing services for those physicians with substance use disorders and/or psychiatric/mental health issues or aging factors that may impair their ability to practice medicine safely.

Wellbeing activities provide resources for identifying, evaluating, referring, treating, and monitoring physicians when addiction, mental health, behavioral issues, and the effects of aging are a concern.

Upcoming Events

September 4, 2019,  2:15 pm to 6:15 pm
Anaheim Marriott
What They Didn’t Teach You in Medical Training: Protecting Your Medical License and Your Well-Being

This pre-conference workshop at the 2019 meeting of the California Society of Addiction Medicine brings together physician wellness advocates, addiction psychiatrists, an attorney, and the Executive Director of the Medical Board of California:

Kevin Cauley, JD, Los Angeles
Scott Clark, MPA, California Medical Association Well Physician California
Matthew Goldenberg, DO, Professionals Treatment Program Santa Monica, CA
Kimberly Kirchmeyer, Executive Director, Medical Board of California
Karen Miotto, MD, Physician Wellness Program, UCLA
Lee Snook, Jr., MD, Metropolitan Pain Management Consultants, Inc.

Registration fee: $275  For the registration page, HERE

To see the full program of the 4-day Addiction Medicine Review Course, click “View the Brochure” HERE 

Available from CPPPH

You can read all the past issues of CPPPH eNews HERE.
Five CPPPH guideline documents are available HERE.


Issue #21, July 2019

Our mailing address is:
1201 K Street, Suite 800
Sacramento, California 95814

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