Licensing and Physician Mental Health: Recommendations

A number of factors appear to discourage physicians from seeking help for emotional distress. Their reluctance may be exacerbated by fears - well-founded or imagined - that by seeking help, a physician will jeopardize his medical license. To address this situation key representatives from organizations including the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP), AMA, APA, and Joint Commission, undertook an examination of the licensing applications, policies, and procedures of state medical boards with regard to physician mental health. Based on their findings they made the following eight recommendations.