We believe that good physicians get in trouble with surprising frequency and that most have the potential to correct their prescribing practices, prevent future boundary violations and improve workplace behavior and return to a more effective medical practice. When physicians get into trouble, the law and the regulations governing serious malpractice all come into play. However, smaller infractions and mildly aberrant practices often go unchallenged, or at least unchanged, even when noticed by colleagues or patients and their families.
Few states have a large enough number of such cases to justify the creation of a special resource similar to The Center for Professional Health. However, on a regional basis, we may be able to sustain this new type of “intermediate intervention” resource successful in the southeastern states; we hope that similar regional programs might be stimulated in other parts of the country.