HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Creighton University School of Law

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

36% of Physicians Don't Believe in Reporting Impaired Colleagues

It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that 36% of physicians state that they may not report an impaired colleague. Researchers from the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed 1,891 doctors in various specialties in Physicians' Perceptions, Preparedness for Reporting, and Experiences Related to Impaired and Incompetent Colleagues.

The reasons given for a failure to report include a belief that someone else will report, fear of retribution and a belief that reporting will not make any difference. According to the WSJ Health Blog, “[t]he authors also noted that physicians who belonged to one- or two-person practices, are a racial or ethnic minority or who graduated from non-U.S. med schools were less likely to report a physician colleague. Those at hospitals or med schools were most likely to do so."

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