Issue #46 March/April 2024


This CPPPH newsletter aims to keep readers abreast of current developments 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


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A Remembrance

Some of our readers knew Dr. Gary Nye from his many years of leadership and advocacy for physician health and will be saddened to learn of his sudden death in February.

For this remembrance, we can start in the 1970s when he started the Physicians Advisory Committee of the Alameda Contra Costa Medical Association – the first “wellbeing committee” in the nation that we know of. In addition, he created and chaired the ACCMA Committee on Litigation Stress.

At the California Medical Association, he was a member of the Committee on Mental Health and was on the six-member CMA and Medical Board group that hammered out the language that became the law that created the Medical Board of California’s Diversion Program for Physicians. He brought his past experience as a member of the Medical Board of California into those discussions. That legislation passed in 1979, and the program opened on January 1, 1980. He continued with the program as a member of the Liaison Committee to Diversion until the closure of the Diversion Program in 2007.

If you took part in the CPPPH regional meetings for medical staff wellbeing committees held in the San Francisco Bay Area, you remember him from his role as chair of all those sessions.

He took calls from the Physicians and Dentists Confidential Line — the 24-hour phone service providing completely confidential doctor-to-doctor assistance — from the day it started in 1976 until his death.

He was a voice and a role model. His work was recognized in 2009 by CMA when they established the annual Gary S. Nye Award for Physician Health and Well-Being. Doctors Lee Snook, Karen Miotto, and Laurie Gregg have been among the recipients of that award.

Many of our readers will not have known him or known about him, but all will somehow, even now, be beneficiaries of his work.

Diversion Program for Osteopathic Physicians

California’s Osteopathic Medical Board has a Diversion Program and has appointed Matthew Goldenberg, DO to its Diversion Evaluation Committee. The program is to identify and seek means to rehabilitate Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons with impairment due to abuse of dangerous drugs and alcohol. To run the program, the Osteopathic Board has contracted with Maximus, Inc., an American government services company with global operations in countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company contracts with government agencies to provide services to manage and administer government-sponsored programs.

Virginia Matthews, RN, BSN, MBA, heads the program. Members of the Diversion Evaluation Committees, in addition to Dr. Goldenberg, include Addiction Psychiatrists George Bifano, DO and Wadsworth Murad, DO, and Addiction Medicine specialist Paul Spier, DO.

The Medical Board of California’s analogous program, Physician Health and Wellness Program, is awaiting the final regulations that will govern the operations. The MBC will then issue a request for proposal from vendors who wish to be selected to run the program for the MBC. Such an RFP will be announced after the regulations have been accepted into California’s Code of Regulation. The next steps in that process are expected at the May 22-23 meeting of the MBC.

For more background information, see past issues of this newsletter.



Issue #46, March/April 2024

Our mailing address is:
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Sacramento, California 95814



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