Pennsylvania offers the Physicians’ Help Program for doctors in the state who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. If drug or alcohol use affects your ability to safely practice or if you have received disciplinary action for drug or alcohol use, you may be eligible for resources through the PHP.

Learn how doctors who practice in Pennsylvania can ask for addiction help.

Assessment

When you contact PHP, a case manager will gather a health and substance use history. He or she will use this confidential information to refer you to a qualified health care provider who offers independent substance use assessments.

Treatment

Based on the assessment, your PHP case manager will recommend the appropriate treatment program for your needs in the case of a substance use and/or mental health diagnosis. Most physicians who enroll in this program benefit from a combination of medical substance detoxification, inpatient treatment and therapy, although outpatient and partial inpatient programs are sometimes effective. PHP will work closely with the facility where you receive care to ensure you have the support and services you need to achieve recovery.

Monitoring and advocacy

Once you successfully complete treatment, you can request monitoring services from PHP to support your commitment to recovery. These services may include periodic drug testing, continuing behavioral therapy, monitoring in the workplace, peer monitoring, periodic calls with your case manager and attendance in a 12-step program. PHP can also offer a follow-up assessment to determine whether you are ready to return to practice.

Enrolling in a substance use treatment program through PHP can help protect your Pennsylvania medical license. Document all steps you take in the course of seeking help for addiction to build a case for your renewed ability to practice safely. PHP will also provide reports directly to your medical school, residency, employer, state board, insurance company, attorney or court system as needed.