Lehigh County Health & Medicine Summer 2021 - 19

The desire and ability to help others and to
make a difference in their lives that attracts
physicians and others to healthcare specialties are
extinguished in slow increments as the person's
own illness progresses. Rebuilding self-worth and
self-compassion, accepting one's humanity, and
realizing that perfection is not achievable, all take
time to internalize. This occurs, in our program,
through attendance at various therapies and
support meetings, including one of our unique
program offerings, professionally facilitated
weekly group meetings. There, people can share
information regarding work stresses and challenges
that they cannot in open community settings.
There are specialized groups for mental health
concerns, substance use disorders, professional
boundary issues, and professionalism.
Two other areas that we are fortunate to have
developed include an active research program
(recent publications can be accessed on our
website www.flprn.org) and our professional
student program, which has served 141 students
from 10 medical schools since its inception in
2006. From being the first state, in 1969, to
acknowledge and enact what was dubbed a " sick
doctor " statute, to today with resources for those
dealing with the acute and chronic effects of the
COVID-19 pandemic, Florida has been on the
forefront of advocating for physicians who need
assistance with their own medical conditions, and
PRN has been a grateful and proud advocate
for professional health and wellness in our state.
Polles, MD, FAPA
Southeast Region Director, 2019-2021 Federation
of State Physician Health Programs
MPHP does not diagnose or treat. It is our
goal to find solutions for physicians as they face
personal and professional challenges. These
could include substance use disorder, behavioral
problems, mental health issues, or boundary
violations. We work with remarkable treatment
providers that offer services to address these
challenges. Once a physician seeks the treatment
they need, recommendations are given to assist
them with maintaining the skills and tools they
have acquired during the treatment process.
This is where MPHP comes in and monitors
the recommendations that offer a physician a
comfortable and healthy life. Our purpose is to
create a record that verifies the physician's compliance
with their recommendations and assures
employers, hospitals, and regulatory agencies that
physicians are safe to practice medicine. We do
not work for regulatory agencies, but we work
cooperatively with them by advocating for our
physicians. These agencies have a healthy respect
for the MPHP and look to us to confirm that a
physician is able to practice with safety and skill.
It is the mission of the MPHP to restore
physicians to healthy functioning so they can
have success in all aspects of their lives. It is
truly an honor to offer our services. We work
with really good physicians who called to ask for
help. MPHP is fully committed to our mission
of helping physicians.
The Missouri Physicians Health Program (MPHP)
is a valuable resource to all Missouri physicians,
residents, fellows, and medical students. It is a
program of support and advocacy to assist physicians
in a time of need. What we know is that
everyone needs help at some point in time and
the MPHP is here for physicians when they reach
that point. Our role is not to punish or shame
physicians. Rather, it is to offer compassionate
support in a safe confidential setting.
Our biggest challenge is reaching all of the
physicians that need our help. We do outreach
and presentations to get the word out, but
there are many physicians that could benefit
from our support. Please contact Mary Fahey
at 314-578-9574 if you or someone you know
is struggling. There is a solution.
Mary Fahey, LCSW
Central Region Director, 2019-2021 Federation
of State Physician Health Programs
The PA PHP's goal is to provide each person
with the confidential care they need to recover
and return to the practice of their chosen
profession. In a 2020 participant impact survey,
91.18 percent of respondents said they " have an
active license to practice their profession " and
85.71 percent " are working in their chosen
profession. " The PHP serves individuals who
self-refer or who are directed by their licensing
board to seek assistance. Master's level, experienced
case management staff are available to
help participants find the most appropriate
resources and develop an individualized approach
to each case. The PA PHP utilizes assessment
and treatment providers who specialize in the
unique needs of the health care professional and
their family. To keep a clear line of separation,
the PA PHP does not accept philanthropic gifts
from assessors or treatment providers.
The Pennsylvania Physicians' Health Program
(PA PHP) is a physician-led, non-profit program
of the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical
Society that provides support and advocacy to physicians
and other eligible health care professionals
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the provision
of some services through secure video
communication; however, the provision of services
never ceased. Additional resources were added
Continued on page 20
SUMMER 2021 | Lehigh County Health & Medicine 19
struggling with a substance use disorder, mental
illness or behavioral concerns. The program also
offers information and support to the families
of impaired physicians and encourages their
involvement in the recovery process.
The PA PHP has a rich history with roots in
a volunteer-based, impaired-physician program
that began in 1970. The Pennsylvania Medical
Society (PAMED) responded to a growing need
for services by hiring a medical director and case
managers and officially started the PA PHP in
1986 under the umbrella of the Foundation. It
is now one of the largest, most fully developed
physicians' health programs in the country. The
PA PHP has a cooperative working relationship
with PAMED, the State Board of Medicine, and
the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, as well
as the Pennsylvania Dental Association. The
PA PHP assists physicians, physician assistants,
medical students, dentists, dental hygienists,
expanded function dental assistants, and veterinarians.
Many hospitals, medical staffs, and
managed care organizations in Pennsylvania use
the services offered by the PHP.
http://www.LCMEDSOC.ORG http://www.flprn.org https://www.flprn.org/ https://www.themphp.org/

Lehigh County Health & Medicine Summer 2021

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