What should I do if I think that a physician is impaired?

The best thing to do is call the Professional Assistance Committee for information. You don’t have to give your name. You can simply describe your concern and receive some guidance as to the next best step.

What will the PAC do if they suspect a physician has an alcohol or drug problem?

We will assess the information that has been made available to us. We will try to verify the accuracy of the information and if appropriate, we will, request a meeting with the individual. The Chairman of the Committee is a psychiatrist and he will meet with the person and decide whether further evaluation is needed or if further action is needed.

How are cases referred to the PAC?

Most cases are referred by a concerned person. It could be a co-worker, colleague, chief or friend. They call because they want to get the person some help and they are unsure how to go about it. Some cases are self referred. These are physicians that are concerned about their own alcohol or drug use. Some may be depressed and are seeking treatment. Some cases are referred by the Credentialing Committee because a physician has indicated on an application that they had a past history of alcohol or drug abuse such as a DWI or mental health issues such as treatment for depression, etc. In these cases it may require only a phone call from the Chairman to determine whether any follow-up is needed. For example, someone that had a DWI 5 years ago and no further problems is typically not an individual that needs further monitoring.