Issue #35 September/October 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

Understanding SUDs Among Physicians

The Medical Board of California invited Greg Skipper, MD to give a presentation at the Board’s Quarterly Meeting on August 20, 2021. Dr. Skipper titled his talk, “Understanding Substance Use Disorders Among Physicians,” and in his talk he included these recommendations to the Medical Board:

  • Where the complaint includes possible substance use disorder, refer the physician for evaluation ASAP
  • Utilize (and encourage development of) comprehensive evaluation programs in CA (or in other states) and consider having physicians pay for their own evaluations
  • If diagnosed with moderate or severe SUDs, then treatment and long‐term monitoring are indicated
  • Utilize a Physician Health Program for education, case finding, referral for evaluations, referral for treatment, monitoring agreements
A complete copy of his slides as they were distributed by the MBC is HERE.

Physician Suicide

A complimentary 2 hour, on-demand education program is available from the Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( The description of the program, “Physician Suicide Prevention: Listening to the Voices of Experience,” says, “There is rising national attention concerning physician suicide. Much of the dialogue is centered on barriers to care for physicians as well as the overall level of stress from COVID-19 superimposed on already high rates of burnout and moral injury. This program is designed to share resources and support and recognize the importance of our ability to be there for each other. “

For a copy of the description of the program, click HERE.
Register HERE.

For those seeking CME, there is a $50.00 fee.


How to Have a Meaningful Conversation When You are Concerned About a Colleague

If you see that a colleague is struggling, reaching out can be a critical first step in helping them get the support they need. It can be difficult, but at the appropriate time and place, you can start a meaningful conversation. With each individual and situation being different, there is no universal way to approach these tough discussions, but the 5 points in this helpful 2-page guide can show the way. The guide, called Vital Signs, is from The Physicians’ Foundation ( and is about conversations where the concern is suicide, but the principles apply to any wellbeing concern. A copy of the guideline is HERE.

CPPPH/CSAM Videoconference October 21: When a Drug Test Shows Use of Cannabis Products

The next CPPPH/CSAM videoconference will be a 90-minute session on Thursday, October 21 focused on what medical staff/medical group policy makers need to know about physicians’ use of drugs that are no longer “illegal”. Examples are cannabis products and psychoactive agents being used therapeutically in treatment. The presentation will include case examples with the results from drug screening tests and a discussion of how a Wellbeing Committee might respond to such findings.

The session is titled Medical Staff Policies Related to Use of Cannabis Products and New Therapeutic Agents. Speakers will be Greg Skipper, MD; David Balfour, JD; and John G. Rosenberg, MD, MPH.

There will be 1.5 hours of CME credit from AAFP and 1.5 hours from NAMSS. The fee is $50 per person or $75 for two or three persons registering together from the same hospital or organization. For more information, click HERE.

If you are on the email list for CPPPH/CSAM videoconferences, you have received the announcement and registration link. If you think you are not already on that mailing list, click HERE to add your contact information.


Available from CPPPH

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



Issue #35, September/October 2021

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