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Counseling impaired docs: Help programs may need retooling

from Modern Healthcare

As hospitals expand their ranks of employed physicians, they will likely find themselves more frequently confronted with an issue that has always plagued the medical profession: practicing physicians with substance abuse and mental health problems. Medical pioneers such as Dr. William Stewart Halsted, the father of American surgery, and Dr. Sigmund Freud, who developed psychoanalysis, wrestled with cocaine addiction. While estimates vary, about 15% of physicians will be impaired at some point in their careers because of psychiatric illness, alcoholism or drug dependency, according to a 2001 article in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences. more

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