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Physician Assistance Program

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Contact Us
For assistance, please call 1-800-257-4762 or
317-261-2060 and ask for the Physician Assistance Program staff.
Candace Backer,
LCSW, LCAC
Coordinator
cbacker@ismanet.org
Anne Naus Kelley,
LCSW, LCAC

Case Manager
akelley@ismanet.org

Confidentiality
According to state and federal law and ISMA program policies,
all participant information is confidential.
Only in rare instances is the program required to report a physician to the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana. Also, only under limited circumstances can the program be compelled to disclose information to third parties.

Often, related parties (e.g., a partner or hospital personnel) request information regarding a program participant. With the participant's consent, periodic progress reports can be sent. However, information is not released to these entities without the participant's permission.

How to Refer
Physicans concerned about their personal health and well-being or that of a colleague may contact our program for a free and confidential consultation. Additionally, any hospital, hospital committee, partner group, practice manager or others who may have oversight responsibilities for physicians are encouraged to contact our program with questions or concerns.
The Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) Physician Assistance Program was created to assist physicians experiencing difficulties in their personal or professional lives.

Experience indicates that an untreated psychiatric, substance abuse or stress disorder can eventually lead to problems in the medical practice. Obtaining assistance during these troubled times can be of benefit to the physician personally and can help avert a crisis in the professional workplace.

Program Services
The ISMA program addresses a range of concerns including:

  • Alcohol and drug use disorders
  • Mental health disorders
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Boundary violations
  • Physical illnesses

Program Elements

  • Screening and referral
  • Consultation for physician health-related concerns
  • Case management designed to provide support and accountability to the physician
  • Advocacy services to provide reports (at the physician's request) to outside sources (e.g., credentialing committees)
  • Education on physician health-related concerns

 

 

 

 

Check back often for current articles relevant to physician health.

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Physician Assistance Articles

Third-party articles/videos

Physicians' odds of beating addiction higher
(Sharon Worchester, Clinical Psychiatry News Digital Network, Jan. 28, 2016)

Assessing Impairment in Physicians
(Hopkins BrainWise - Winter 2015)

  • The Memory Survey - The Copper Ridge Institute, affiliated with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Four Steps to Eliminating Physician Burnout
(Robert Pearl, MD, from the NEJM Catalyst event Care Redesign: Creating the Future of Care Delivery at Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health, Sept. 30, 2015)

What I Learned About Adverse Events From Captain Sully, It's Not What You Think
(Marjorie Podraza Stiegler, MD, JAMA, 2015;313(4):361-362. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16025)

Stop Talking ‘Dirty': Clinicians, Language, and Quality of Care for the Leading Cause of Preventable Death in the United States (John F. Kelly, Ph.D., Sarah E. Wakeman, MD, Richard Saitz, MD, The American Journal of Medicine, January 2015, Volume 128, Issue 1, Published online: September 2, 2014)

Evidence for the efficacy of pain medications
(Donald Teater, MD, Medical Advisor, National Safety Council)

Enhancing Meaning in Work:
A Prescription for Preventing Physician Burnout and Promoting Patient-Centered Care

(Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, JAMA, 2009;302(12):1338-1340. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1385.)

Five year outcomes in a cohort study of physicians treated for substance use disorders in the United States
(A Thomas McLellan, Gregory S Skipper, Michael Campbell, Robert L DuPont, BMJ, 2008;337:a2038)



ISMA e-Reports articles

12-15-14:
Treating pain and saving lives

1-22-13:
Drug overdose deaths signal time for change

9-6-11:
Here's a helpful website offering resources, tools and more

5-10-10:
Helping doctors become first responders to substance abuse

12-21-09:
Physician Assistance Program restores health confidentially

12-01-08:
State physician health programs earn a good grade

10-20-08:
Get free training to help patients who drink too much

2-25-08:
ISMA staff member, program can help you or a colleague

3-07-05:
Anger in the exam room - Part II

2-22-05:
Anger in the exam room - Part I

Indiana Law
Indiana law empowers the ISMA Physician Assistance Program and other similar committees to intervene on an impaired physician and insist on appropriate treatment. Indiana Code 844 IAC 5-2-8 states that as long as an impaired physician follows the prescribed treatment plan, no reporting to the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana is required.

If, however, an impaired physician fails to comply with the course of treatment or make satisfactory progress, the ISMA program staff must report this information to the executive committee of the hospital, which in turn must report the non-compliance to the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana. Or the ISMA program staff can report such violations directly to the Medical Licensing Board.

To assist you in making the most appropriate referral, please contact the ISMA staff at (317) 261-2060.

Outside web resources

NIDA - National Institute on Drug Abuse

NIDAmed - National Institute on Drug Abuse physician section

SAMHSA - Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

These agencies evaluate behaviorally disruptive physicians:
(To assist you in making the most appropriate referral, please contact the ISMA staff at (317) 261-2060.)
Professional Renewal Center
Lawrence, KS
Contact: Betsy Williams, Ph.D.
(877) 978-4772
www.prckansas.org
Acumen Assessments, Inc.
Lawrence, KS
Contact: Scott Stacy, PsyD
(785) 856-8218
www.AcumenAssessments.com

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Program for Distressed Physicians

Nashville, TN
Contact: Ron Neufeld,
Program Manager
(615) 322-4567
www.vanderbiltvcap.com

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Professionals
at Risk Treatment Services
Elmhurst, IL
Contact: Christ Stewart, MD
(630) 615-7800
www.elmhurstprofessionalsprogram.com
These agencies provide educational workshops for behaviorally disruptive physicans and physicians with anger management issues:
(To assist you in making the most appropriate referral, please contact the ISMA staff at (317) 261-2060.)
Professional Renewal Center
Lawrence, KS
Contact: Betsy Williams, Ph.D.
(877) 978-4772
www.prckansas.org
Acumen Assessments, Inc. 
Lawrence, KS
Contact: Scott Stacy, PsyD
(785) 856-8218
www.AcumenAssessments.com
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Program for Distressed Physicians
Course
Nashville, TN
Contact: Ron Neufeld,
Program Manager
(615) 322-4567
www.vanderbiltvcap.com
 
 
These agencies evaluate and treat physicians with substance abuse concerns:
(To assist you in making the most appropriate referral, please contact the ISMA staff at (317) 261-2060.)
Positive Sobriety Institute
Chicago, IL 60611
Contact: Kathy Angres
(708-822-2255)
positivesobrietyinstitute.com
Talbott Recovery Campus
Atlanta, GA
Contact: Kelly Camarata, M.Ed., LPC
(800) 445-4232
www.talbottcampus.com

The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place
Williamsburg, VA
Contact:
Mark D Lutz, MA, LCDCIII, ICADC
(614) 306-5021 (cell)
www.farleycenter.com
Bradford's Healthcare
Professionals Program

Warrior, AL
(205) 647-1945
(800) 333-1865
Contact:
Shay Allen
(205) 807-3527
www.bradfordhealth.com/
These agencies provide educational workshops regarding proper prescribing courses:
(To assist you in making the most appropriate referral, please contact the ISMA staff at (317) 261-2060.)
Case Western Reserve University
School of Medicine

Case/UH Continuing Medical
Education Program
Cleveland, OH
(216) 844-5050
(800) 274-8263
casemed.case.edu
  Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Program for Distressed Physicians
Course
Nashville, TN
Contact: Ron Neufeld,
Program Manager
(615) 322-4567
www.vanderbiltvcap.com
These agencies provide workshops regarding maintaining proper boundaries:
(To assist you in making the most appropriate referral, please contact the ISMA staff at (317) 261-2060.)
Case Western Reserve University
School of Medicine

Case/UH Continuing Medical
Education Program
Cleveland, OH
(216) 844-5050
(800) 274-8263
casemed.case.edu
  Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Program for Distressed Physicians
Course
Nashville, TN
Contact: Ron Neufeld,
Program Manager
(615) 322-4567
www.vanderbiltvcap.com
Santé Center for Healing
Argyle, TX
(800) 258-4250 ext. 271
www.santecenter.com
  Professional Boundaries, Inc.
Jacksonville, FL
(850) 654-6939
E-mail
www.professionalboundaries.com
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