Addiction and Recovery Services for Physicians:
The Physician Recovery Network (PRN) is a confidential, non-coercive, and non-punitive alternative to formal disciplinary action offered by the Idaho State Board of Medicine. The PRN is a program to facilitate prevention, identification, intervention, and rehabilitation for Idaho physicians or physician assistants who have, or are at risk for developing disorders, which are associated with functional impairment, or suffering from chemical abuse or dependency, mental health issues, or behavioural problems. The PRN works in a manner consistent with the laws and medical practice acts of the State of Idaho to provide a safe environment in a medical setting and in conjunction with the Idaho Medical Association.
The purpose of the program is to assist professionals and their families in identifying alcohol, drug, or behavioural problems that pose a potential threat to that professional, the family, or the patients/clients. The PRN will work to identify and facilitate acute treatment and to provide long-term support for the professional to return to a productive place within his/her profession. While the program provides no direct counseling, treatment, or aftercare services, it does support and endorse the development of self-help groups at the local level.
The PRN is a resource for professionals, their families, colleagues, and other affiliates. Disciplinary action does little to intervene in the disease process and may frequently be counterproductive to identification and professional reintegration. Treatment has proven to be effective for both the individual and society. By providing professionals an opportunity to enter into treatment and to recover from their diseases early in the disease process, the PRN can serve to minimize negative impacts on the professionals, patients/clients and their families and friends.
“Research repeatedly has shown that physicians generally fare much better than the general public following addiction treatment. Although accommodations may be needed (e.g., decreasing hours or eliminating night shifts), approximately 75% to 85% are able to return to work, do not use drugs, and lead a productive life. As a result, it has been suggested that this PHP treatment approach (including drug screening) should be implemented as the standard of care for all individuals with suspected addiction, not just physicians.”
Successful Treatment of Physicians With Addictions Psychiatric Times. Vol. 26 No. 9 August 28, 2009
Five Year Outcomes of Physicians With Addictions BMJ 2008;337:a2038
Addiction Recovery Services Provided by Southworth Associates for Physician Recovery Network (PRN) Program:
- Confidential Consultation
- Recovery Monitoring – The PRN program monitors participants while in treatment and recovery.
- Relapse Management
- Education and Research
- Consulting resource for Idaho Hospitals, medical staff and organizations
- Support Resource
- Advocacy - The PRN advocates for the right to continue working when there is documentation of abstinence and recovery from chemical dependency.
There are two different treatment tracks into our program:
Self-Referral: An impaired physician, or physician assistant, who does not have official Stipulations and Orders as drafted by the Idaho State Board of Medicine, may be referred to the PRN program in person, or by an agent of the physician/physician assistant (family member, colleague, friend or employer).
Board of Medicine Referral: The Idaho State Board of Medicine will draft a formal Stipulations and Orders for the impaired physician. Part of the Stipulations and Orders will include a requirement to be under contract and maintain compliance with the PRN Program.