Issue #34 June/July 2021


This CPPPH newsletter aims to keep readers abreast of current developements and relevant information about physician health and wellbeing in California.

All past issues are available from the CPPPH website:


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

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

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:

  • (213) 383-2691


Send Us Your Comments

We want to hear from you. Send comments to

FSMB Updated Policy

The Federation of State Medical Boards has updated its 2011 policy statement on physician impairment. The policy dated May 2021 is titled Policy on Physician Illness and Impairment: Towards a Model that Optimizes Patient Safety and Physician Health.

The 14-page paper provides guidance to state medical and osteopathic boards for including Physician Health Programs in their efforts to protect the public. It says, “There is a need to educate the medical profession and the public about physician illness, impairment, and illness that can lead to impairment.” In the paper, a Physician Health Program (PHP) is defined as “a confidential program of prevention, detection, intervention, rehabilitation and monitoring of licensees or those in training with impairing conditions, approved and/or recognized by the state medical board.”

“This document represents recommendations for medical boards and PHPs to effectively protect the public through the assistance of licensees, medical students, and trainees with functionally impairing illness(es) based on best practices.” To download a copy of the paper, click HERE.


RCMA 33rd Annual Conference

Riverside County Medical Association’s 33rd Annual Western States Regional Conference on Physicians’ Well-Being will be a virtual one on Friday morning, July 16th from 8:00 am to 12:15 pm.

Speakers this year will include David Bazzo, MD and Kai MacDonald, MD, both of the UC San Diego Physician Assessment and Clinical Education (PACE) Program, and Elizabeth Snelson, Esq., President of Legal Counsel for the Medical Staff, PLLC, in St. Paul, MN. She has over 20 years’ experience representing medical staffs, medical societies, and medical staff professionals, first in California, then nationally around the US. About her presentation, she says, “I hope to use my time to reinforce the need for Medical Staff well-being committees to be responsive to wellness issues ranging from aging to burnout to long-haul COVID. Not only do I still see Medical Staff bylaws that have no structure for member health issues, but I am also still seeing provisions that limit the focus to substance abuse, as if physicians’ health issues were similarly limited. I will touch on Data Bank reporting quandaries—so sick of reporting physicians for being sick!”

Registration is $169 per person or $50 for medical students and physicians in training. For information is HERE.


Guideline on Drug Testing

CPPPH together with the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) is preparing a document titled: Guidelines for Medical Staff Policies and Procedures for Drug Testing: What You Test For, When, Why and How.

Helping medical staffs and medical groups understand, adopt and implement policies and procedures is considered an important matter because what policies and procedures are followed — and even whether there are policies and procedures in place — can determine the usefulness of the results of a drug test and can influence the effectiveness of the institution’s efforts. There is case law that shows the importance of having and following policies and procedures in protecting the institution from liability.

After all comments are received and considered and a final draft is prepared, it will be presented to CPPPH and CSAM for adoption. It will join the other CPPPH guidelines that are available from the CPPPH website HERE.


Available from CPPPH

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



Issue #34, June/July 2021

Our mailing address is:
One Capital Mall, Suite 800
Sacramento, California 95814