A Study of Substance Impaired Physicians

A study by the NIH analyzed recovery rates in substance impaired physicians. The people in these medical professions are commonly thought to be more susceptible to addiction and chemical dependency. The study looked at chemical dependencies in both physicians and physician assistants in the North Carolina Physicians Health Program. Ultimately, it found more favorable outcomes for physicians in terms of substance abuse recovery as compared to the outcomes for physician assistants. This is important because care programs need to know what kinds of people are responding well to treatment, and in what areas they should improve.

The study compared 233 different substance impaired physicians. Chart reviews over the course of six years were used to collect the data. The time frame and the number of physicians make these results significant for other medical professionals. Of the 233 physicians, 91% had a good outcome. This is a considerable difference when compared to the physician assistants; 59% of 34 physician assistants in this sample had positive outcomes. However, gender did not seem to change the outcome in either group. This means that physician assistants might need a different kind of treatment than is commonly offered to them. To learn more about these treatment options, see the source article at the NCBI website.

Takeaways: What We Can Learn from this Study

This study illuminates the kinds of people who suffer from addiction in these areas. It also explicates the kinds of substances they abuse. The predominant substance used by both groups of substance impaired physicians was alcohol and opiates. Most subjects in both groups were between 30 and 55. The best outcome was between the ages of 25-29 and the worst in those who were over 55. The study was not designed to apply those statistics outside of physicians and physician assistants; however, it’s still necessary to be aware of who is seeking care in this area because medical professionals are especially prone to chemical dependencies.

At Hayver, we understand how important it is to offer and receive the best possible treatment for addiction and chemical dependency. That’s why we connect our clients and partners to the latest in technological treatment options. Contact Hayver today at info(at)hayver.com.