House Officer Responses to Impaired Physicians
Reuben, David B.
JAMA. 1990 Feb 16; 263(7): 958-960.
The authors surveyed 76 medical house officers at Providence's Rhode Island Hospital to determine their responses to physician impairment. Impairment is defined broadly as any condition that may adversely affect a physicians's health or his or her care of patients. The house officers were asked to respond to five scenarios in which they came in contact with attending physicians or fellow house officers who either were abusing alcohol, professionally incompetent, or suffering from depression. Initial responses differed considerably depending on the status of the impaired colleague, vis-a-vis the house officer. The house officers preferred to confront personally an impaired colleague, and to report an impaired or incompetent attending physician to higher medical authorities. (KIE abstract)
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