Steps To Take
The UCSF Physician Well Being Committee (PWBC) offers assistance to staff and physicians with well being issues (substance abuse, physical/ mental illness, or disruptive behavior) which impair their ability to practice safely and effectively. The PWBC is a non-disciplinary process to help physicians during recovery and to continue working safely.

Confidentiality will be assured if possible, depending upon the severity of the situation and the immediate risk to patient safety. If you are anxious about making the first call, you may contact the committee anonymously, just to learn more about how the committee can offer help.

The PWBC will perform a preliminary investigation to evaluate the credibility of the allegations, and provide an intervention with the provider as warranted. The committee also implements and monitors appropriate Return to Work/Continuation of Work agreements with providers.

If you suspect a fellow physician has a problem, it is essential to realize that the problem will not go away on its own! Fortunately, impairment can be helped if approached properly.

First - Approach your colleague. Mention what you have noticed (the specific behaviors that have caused your concern) and ask for an explanation. Inquire directly if there is a problem.

Second - If your colleague denies a problem exists, but you still suspect a problem, allow some time for your colleague to resume the conversation. If the topic is not rediscussed and you still have concerns, contact the PWBC for advice. Your call can be made anonymously.

Third - Based on the above information, advice from the PWBC and your own observations, decide if you still think a problem exists.

Fourth - If you are convinced that your colleague does have a problem, you must refer your concerns to someone in a position to intervene. Contact the Physician Well Being Committee Chair: Call the Medical Staff Office at (415) 885-7268.