February 01, 2012 | | Comments 35
Print This Post
Email This Post

Holy Moly, He Wants to Come Back!

Okay, here are the questions:

  • What do you do when the physician requests his privileges be restored after he returns from rehab for his cocaine and sexual addictions?
  • What do you do when the 67-year-old internist, who retired five years ago, has just been hired by administration to be your new hospitalist?
  • What do you do when your favorite cardiologist returns from a medical leave of absence after suffering a significant stroke?

Of course, these scenarios cause more questions than answers. You suddenly wish you had declined the invitation to be chief of staff of your medical staff. The fact remains that demographics apply to physicians as well as the general public.

Alcohol and substance abuse is 12-14% in the general population and is the same or somewhat higher in the physician population. (P Hughes, Prevalence of Substance Abuse Among US physicians, JAMA, 1992) Sexual addiction, especially cyber addiction to pornography, is present in 6-8% of the general population and one out of five are women. (Carnes, Am J Prev Psychology Neurology, 1991, 3:16-23) Dementia is present in 13.9% of individuals 71 and older and 9.7% of these have Alzheimer’s disease. (Plassman, et al, Neuroepid, 2007) Stroke recovery is possible, but of course, varies widely depending on age, severity of the injury, rehabilitation efforts, and support to name a few. None of us are immune from these possibilities.

Okay, now a few answers. Patients are more important than physicians. Don’t get caught in the trap of treating physicians as “special people.” First and foremost, you should have a concrete policy for dealing with all of the above possibilities. It must be iron clad, fair and equitable, be consistent with HIPPA and the American Disability Act, should be patient-safety focused but also allow for the physician to return to your medical staff. This begins with a viable and credible Physician Health Committee, an engaged credentials committee, OPPE and FPPE plans on steroids, legal advice, and a “Fitness to Work” evaluation from an objective and independent physician.

Want more from Dr. White? R Dean White DDS, MS, of Dean White Consulting, will be speaking about how to create a physician re-entry process at the 15th Annual Credentialing Resource Center Symposium, May 10-11. For more information, click here. 

Entry Information

Filed Under: Bylawsmedical staff leadershipMedical staff servicesPhysician competency


Error: Unable to create directory uploads. Is its parent directory writable by the server? About the Author: R. Dean White, DDS, MS, has been involved in medical staff governance for the last 33 years. He has served on every medical staff committee including chairing the credentials and bylaws committees. He also served as chief of the medical staff in 1999 and 2000 at Texas Health Harris Methodist HEB Hospital in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. He served on the board of trustees of the same hospital for six years.

RSSComments: 2  |  Post a Comment  |  Trackback URL

  1. I could not agree more enthusiastically that physicians returning to practice after a prolonged absence (whether by choice or forced to do so due to health conditions) need an objective process to assess their readiness to return to practice for the hospital’s, the physician’s, and the patients’ sakes. A research study that my colleagues and I authored showed that approximately three-quarters of the physicians returning to practice after a voluntary leave who presented to the CPEP Reentry Program demonstrated the need for some sort of educational remediation; a small percentage of these physicians had significant gaps. [J Contin Educ Health Prof 2011; 31(1):49- 55]

    A majority of these physicians can address their educational gaps and resume a productive career. Formal reentry programs can help the physician understand what s/he needs to do to return to practice, provide the support they need while they return to practice, and provide a resolution with which the hospital can feel comfortable.
    Elizabeth S. Grace, M.D.

  2. Error: Unable to create directory uploads. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

    Dr. Grace: Thanks for your comments and the reference to your research. Current competency is one of the most difficult tasks for credentials committees to deal with regardless of whether the physician has been impaired or not.

Trackbacks: 33  |  Trackback URL

  1. From Michael Kors Purses on Sep 24, 2015
  2. From Michael Kors Handbags on Sep 25, 2015
  3. From Cheap Oakley Sunglasses on Sep 26, 2015
  4. From Wholesale Cheap Jerseys China on Sep 27, 2015
  5. From Cheap Oakley Sunglasses on Sep 27, 2015
  6. From Cheap Jordan Shoes on Oct 15, 2015
  7. From URL on Sep 28, 2017
  8. From stucco contractor on Oct 2, 2017
  9. From Real Estate St George on Oct 3, 2017
  10. From los angeles special appearance attorne on Oct 3, 2017
  11. From datnendep.vn on Oct 4, 2017
  12. From Agen Bola Terbaik Terpercaya on Oct 7, 2017
  13. From wedding planners on Oct 9, 2017
  14. From porno on Oct 9, 2017
  15. From Versuchen was sie sagt on Oct 10, 2017
  16. From federal criminal lawyer on Oct 10, 2017
  17. From must watch on Oct 15, 2017
  18. From religious graphic tees on Oct 16, 2017
  19. From family portraits on Oct 24, 2017
  20. From Best Engineer Aws Alkhazraji on Oct 27, 2017
  21. From Marketing on Oct 27, 2017
  22. From sports betting on Nov 1, 2017
  23. From click this site on Nov 7, 2017
  24. From www.getfreeinstagramfollowersteam.com on Nov 8, 2017
  25. From Topper günstig on Nov 9, 2017
  26. From mountain hiking sunglasses on Nov 11, 2017
  27. From St George Attorneys on Nov 13, 2017
  28. From more on Nov 16, 2017
  29. From Agen Judi Bola on Nov 18, 2017
  30. From Christ Gospel Church Cult on Nov 19, 2017
  31. From Bdsm chat on Nov 19, 2017
  32. From DMPK Testing on Nov 20, 2017
  33. From Late holiday deals on Nov 21, 2017

RSSPost a Comment  |  Trackback URL