Guidelines and Articles

Documents you can download and links to selected websites

What is on this page:


  • Guidelines for Evaluations of Health Care Professionals [PDF]
    (October 2013)
    This CPPPH guideline describes all the elements involved in getting a clinical evaluation, including the qualifications of those who conduct evaluations, the preparation to be completed in advance, and the recommended contents of the report.  This document focuses on evaluations that are used to determine diagnoses, assess severity, identify appropriate clinical interventions, assess patient safety, and/or determine what steps should be taken to protect public safety, and the physician’s personal health and career.
  • Guideline for Selecting Physician Health Services [PDF]
    (intervention, treatment, monitoring, etc.)
    These CPPPH guidelines are addressed to hospital medical staffs and medical groups and all who have professional responsibilities for physician health and patient safety.  They are designed to help you make informed choices among possible providers of different kinds of services.

    • What Well-Being Committees Should Consider in Selecting Providers of Services
    • Criteria to Look For
  • Guidance from the Federation of State Medical  Boards on Physician Impairment [PDF]
    In this 2011 policy statement document, the Federation of State Medical Boards provides guidance to state medical boards for how to include Physician Health Programs in their efforts to protect the public. It represents a vision for medical boards to effectively assist impaired licensees as well as those with potentially impairing illness based on best practices.
  • CMA Guideline for Hospital Medical Staff Wellbeing Committees 
    (January 2015 Edition)
    This comprehensive 29-page document prepared by CMA Legal Department covers all pertinent areas starting with medical staff bylaws and The Joint Commission Standard MS2.6, continuing through committee policies and procedures, through monitoring, confidentiality and peer review protections.
  • General Guidelines
  • Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Management of Other Psychiatric Disorders
  • Evaluations
  • Treatment Programs
  • Finding Meaning in Medicine: Guideline for Forming Support Groups, Rachel Naomi Remen, MD.  A “starter kit” for how to begin a FMM group is available from the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (ISHI) website. [Choose “All Healthcare Professionals” then choose “Start Your Own Support Group.”]  Groups tend to grow organically, using these guidelines.

White Papers

Sample Documents


This section provides the full text if CPPPH has the publisher’s permission.  For other articles, we provide a link to the full text on the publisher’s website.

Addiction, Treatment, Monitoring, Recovery

  • New Paradigm for Recovery 
    A comprehensive description of the elements that comprise monitoring for persons working in high risk positions — health care professionals, pilots, lawyers, this 34-page, well referenced 2014 report from the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., will be valuable for all who are responsible for monitoring programs.
  • Substance Use Disorders Among Anesthesiology Residents 1975-2009
    Records from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) and the Disciplinary Action Notification Service (DANS) of the Federation of State Medical Boards are analyzed in depth in this article (JAMA. 2013;310(21):2289-2296). The authors, from the Mayo Clinic (Rochester) Department of Anesthesiology and the ABA, say, “To our knowledge, this report provides the first comprehensive description of the epidemiology and outcomes of SUD for any in-training physician specialty group.”   The full text is available from JAMA.
  • New York TimesMedicine’s Search for MeaningThis long opinion piece reviews a medical school elective course called “The Healer’s Art” that “is taught annually at 71 schools in the United States (half of the nation’s medical schools) and schools in seven other countries. … And while it is described as a simple elective — a 15-hour course given in five three-hour sessions — many of the doctors who teach it, and the students who take it, see it as part of a movement.” Several California hospitals have started related efforts.  One example is Finding Meaning in Medicine which we mentioned in the July issue of this newsletter.“Because it has strong links to the quality of care,” says Dr. Tait Shanafelt of the Mayo Clinic, “promoting wellness is a shared responsibility of individual physicians as well as the hospital or practice group.”  You can read the whole NYT article HERE.
  • Physician health programmes and malpractice claims: reducing risk through monitoring Occupational Medicine. April 19, 2013
    From Occupational Medicine April 2013, this study demonstrates that treatment and monitoring are associated with a lowered risk of malpractice claims and suggests that patient care may be improved by PHP monitoring. Data on 818 clients were examined. After monitoring, those enrolled in the program of treatment and monitoring showed a 20% lower malpractice risk than the matched cohort. Furthermore physicians’ annual rate of claims were significantly lower after program monitoring among PHP clients (P < 0.01).    CPPPH does not have permission to post the article, but readers can see the full abstract with this link.
  • Setting the standard for recovery: Physicians’ Health Programs
    Robert L. DuPont, MD; A. Thomas McLellan, PhD; William L. White, MA; Lisa J. Merlo, PhD, Mark S. Gold, MD. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 36 (2009) 159-171
    Description of 16 physician health programs and the elements that make up their management of cases with outcome data about physicians in treatment and monitoring.
  • Impaired healthcare professional
    Marie R. Baldisseri, MD, FCCM, Critical Care Medicine 2007 Vol. 35, No. 2 (Suppl.)
    11 page review of the available data on substance use disorders in healthcare professionals: prevalence, risk factors, treatment options, and reentry issues. 72 references


  • Physician Resilience and Burnout: Can You Make the Switch Family Practice Management January/February 2013
    © 2012 American Academy of Family Physicians
    The author details the impact of “burnout” on physicians. It is estimated that burnout starts during medical training and continues throughout a physician’s career and is linked to four qualities that are inherent to most physicians: service and sacrifice, excellence, curative competence, and compassion. The author suggests resiliency training and a new curriculum for students as a possible solution.
  • Why are MDs Burning Out in Record Numbers? [PDF] Medscape. Nov 27, 2012
    In this Nov. 2012 Medscape interview, a former president of the American College of Physicians, Paul Griner, MD, discusses the risks and consequences of burnout and describes a mentoring program in his institution at Danbury Health Systems in Connecticut to address which addresses it.

Disruptive Behaviors

  • Disruptive Physician Behavior: Use and Misuse of the Label [PDF] 
    Journal of Medical Regulation (2011) Vol. 98, No. 1
    This article provides in-depth information about disruptive physician behavior, including discussion of the causes and contributing factors, strategies to manage such behavior, formulation of medical staff policies, and appropriate and inappropriate use of the disruptive label.

Physician Health and Wellness

  • Physician Health and Wellness
    Sara Taub, et. al., for the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association; Occupational Medicine 2006;56:77-82 doi:10.1093/occmed/kqj025
    6 page article with the objective to develop ethical guidelines regarding physician health and wellness based on the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs recommendations (based on the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics), an analysis of relevant Medline indexed articles, and comments from experts. The report’s recommendations were adopted as policy in December 2003.

General Topics

  • Physician Magazine, the new official publication of the Los Angeles County Medical Association recently devoted an entire issue to physician wellness. View the magazine here. June 2013

Links to Other Websites

  • The website of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs is the source of all their publications.

Policy Statements

  • Policy Statement on Physician Impairment from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
    The Federation of State Medical Boards updated its policy related to physician health programs in April 2011. The import of this statement is that it comes from the organization that represents the 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the United States that are responsible for licensure and discipline. The FSMB mission is to lead by promoting excellence in medical practice, licensure, and regulation as the national resource and voice on behalf of state medical and osteopathic boards in their protection of the public.This 2011 document is intended to promote better collaboration among all stakeholders in addressing issues of physicians with potentially impairing illness. It provides guidance, based on best practices at this point in time, to state medical and osteopathic boards for including PHPs in their efforts to protect the public and effectively assist impaired licensees as well as those with potentially impairing illness.
  • Public Policy Statements and Recommendations from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)  [11 different statements; click on titles below]In April 2011, ASAM published eleven policy statements, each of which provides a comprehensive discussion of one aspect related to physician health programs.  

CPPPH Newsletters

If you are involved in physician health activities in California, you may find helpful information in these CPPPH e-Newsletters.

  • Board of Directors

    James T. Hay, MD, Chair
    California Medical Association

    Marvin Firestone, MD, JD
    California Psychiatric Association

    Bob Cabaj, MD
    California Psychiatric Association

    Karen Miotto, MD
    David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

    David Pating, MD
    California Society of Addiction Medicine

    David Perrott, MD, DDS
    California Hospital Association

    Lee T. Snook, Jr., MD
    California Medical Association

  • Staff

    Barbara Thompson
    Executive Director

    Gail Jara
    Director of Educational Programs

    Sandra E. Bressler
    Organizational Consultant

    Janis Thibault, MFT
    Program Consultant

    Ashley Burke