Physician Well-Being Programs

Spickard A, Jr., Steinman v. Physician well-being programs. Medical Encounter 2002;16(4):5-8.

January 16, 2002

Anderson Spickard, Jr., M.D.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Beverly Steinman, M.D.
Northwest Center for Physician-Patient Communication

Contact Information:

Anderson Spickard, Jr., M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, The Center for Professional Health
1107 Oxford House
Nashville, TN 37232-4300
Phone: 615/936-0678
Fax: 615/936-0676

Scope of the Problem:

Medical staffs of hospitals and health care systems are beginning to attend to the health and well-being of physicians by establishing committees to promote physician health, prevent burnout and impairment and respond humanely and decisively to help impaired physicians heal.

While most of the well-being committees originally only dealt with substance abuse, and usually after-the-fact, they are now beginning to focus their energies on prevention and dealing with a wider range of problems such as disruptive behavior, depression/other mental illnesses, family stress, and sexual boundary violations.