If a licensed healthcare professional, such as a medical doctor, nurse, chiropractor, dentist or pharmacist, faces scrutiny from the licensing board about a suspected alcohol or drug problem, there is the potential that the professional could lose his or her license.
One potential way to manage this is to enter into the Voluntary Recovery Program. However, there are some downsides to this program, so a licensed professional should consider various factors first.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, to be eligible, the professional needs to:
- Have a diagnosed physical or mental disorder, as confirmed by a VRP-approved provider
- Follow and complete a treatment plan
- Obey the conditions and terms of the program
- Sign a Consent Agreement with the licensing board
Ineligible professionals include those involved with the sale or distribution of controlled substances, those who have committed sexual harassment violations and those with a history of causing patient harm.
Potential reasons to carefully consider entering the program
Although the program may sound like a good idea and a way to keep a professional license, there are some things of which to be aware. The program is at least three years, and it includes random drug testing, support groups, probationary terms and careful monitoring.
By signing the Consent Agreement, the professional is also admitting to an addiction, which indicates an impairment to practice safety. Participants are not allowed to work in a licensed capacity until a VRP provider and case manager approve it. This can result in weeks, or even months, with no income.
Do not even consider signing a Consent Agreement before contacting us. We are ofter able to resolve your case without the need for you to enter the VRP. You should contact us prior to speaking to anyone from the Board.