Physician Health Programs Available for You
The Missouri Board of Healing Arts recognizes two physician health programs in the state of Missouri, the Physician Health Professional Wellness Program and the Missouri Physicians Health Program. In addition, the MAFP offers a unique program for family physicians who need assistance. Each program is different, but all are here to help you work through health issues that may hinder your ability to practice.
The Physician and Health Professional Wellness Program (PHP)
This program is sponsored by the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) and was founded in 1987. Implemented by the Capitol Region Center for Mental Wellness in Jefferson City, a committee of physicians and counselors oversees the PHP.
The mission of the PHP is to develop a cooperative relationship with each client to facilitate their return to health and personal and professional functioning through early identification, intervention, and treatment. The program applies the osteopathic philosophy of “whole health” and believes that the entire team is negatively affected when one part of the healthcare team is not functioning at the highest level. The program serves all physicians (MDs and DOs), medical students, and allied healthcare providers.
A set of guidelines modeled after those of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs were developed for the PHP that determines interventions, treatment recommendations, drug screens, and aftercare. The program’s focus is on prevention, early identification, intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation of health care professionals who may be affected by substance use, mental health issues or disruptive behavior, burnout, or impairments related to aging.
Treatment is accomplished at Board-recognized programs that primarily treat healthcare professionals. Determining who needs treatment is evidence-based, and if an impairment is suspected, a full evaluation is completed by a program approved by the relevant licensure board. Treatment is more extensive and intensive for physicians than the general population, given that they care for others and therefore carry more risk. This treatment leads to a recovery rate higher than that for the general population.
The program receives self-referrals, family referrals, hospital/employer referrals, and referrals from attorneys. For more information on the PHP sponsored by MAOPS, visit https://www.maops.org/page/PhysicianHealth or contact the program directly at 573-632-5562.
The Missouri Physicians Health Program (MPHP)
The MPHP operates as a 501c (3) not-for-profit organization and helps all Missouri physicians, residents, and medical students who suffer from health conditions that may hamper their ability to practice. Some of them have conditions that threaten their careers or even their lives.
The MPHP responds to all physicians who request help and, often, to their family members, co-workers, and employers. Physicians receive appropriate treatment, monitoring, and advocacy when necessary, including with partners, employers, and the Missouri Board of Healing Arts. Over the years, the MPHP has assisted countless physicians in the State of Missouri with their health issues and helped them continue their practice of medicine safely and effectively in the grand majority of cases.
The MPHP does not diagnose, treat, investigate or discipline. The primary role is to provide confidential consultation, education, advocacy, monitoring, and referral for treatment if necessary. The program’s mission is to help physicians return to healthy personal and professional lives.
If the referred physician disagrees with the referral to MPHP, it is their right and obligation to address their concerns with the referring entity.
The initial consultation is free of charge; however, there is a cost for monitoring services. Monitoring is provided at the personal request of a physician or third-party entity with the full consent of the physician.
When a physician referral involves assessment, treatment, or any service by a program other than the MPHP, the physician will pay their expenses related to that service, though there are options available.
The staff at the MPHP is available 24/7 to assist those in need. Contact Mary Fahey, Executive Director, at 314-578-9578 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Member Assistance Program
Lastly, the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians offers help for you too. For more information about the Member Assistance Program (MAP), visit https://www.mo-afp.org/resources/assistance/.