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Can Fam Physician. 1995 February; 41: 249–255.
PMCID: PMC2146244

Helping physicians in distress. Developing a physician assessment and referral service.


In 1987, a Physician Assessment and Referral Service was created in the Department of Family Medicine of a large urban hospital to help physicians and their families. This article describes the rationale, development, accomplishments, and limitations of the service in light of 5 years' experience. Although this program was developed for family physicians in particular, it has value for all medical specialties.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Martin MJ. Psychiatric problems of physicians and their families. Mayo Clin Proc. 1981 Jan;56(1):35–44. [PubMed]
  • Pfifferling JH. The problem of physician impairment. Conn Med. 1980 Sep;44(9):587–591. [PubMed]
  • Clark TR. Hospital medical staff and the impaired or troubled physician. N C Med J. 1983 Sep;44(9):541–543. [PubMed]
  • Rennert M, Hagoel L, Epstein L, Shifroni G. The care of family physicians and their families: a study of health and help-seeking behaviour. Fam Pract. 1990 Jun;7(2):96–99. [PubMed]
  • Jacyk W. Impaired physicians: they are not the only ones at risk. CMAJ. 1989 Jul 15;141(2):147–148. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • White RK, Schwartz RP, McDuff DR, Hartmann PM. Hospital-based professional assistance committees: literature review and guidelines. Md Med J. 1992 Apr;41(4):305–309. [PubMed]
  • May HJ, Revicki DA. Professional stress among family physicians. J Fam Pract. 1985 Feb;20(2):165–171. [PubMed]
  • Richings JC, Khara GS, McDowell M. Suicide in young doctors. Br J Psychiatry. 1986 Oct;149:475–478. [PubMed]
  • Myerson S. Investigating stresses in general practice using an open-ended approach in interviews. Fam Pract. 1990 Jun;7(2):91–95. [PubMed]
  • Howard RB. Physicians as patients. The lessons of experience. Postgrad Med. 1983 Aug;74(2):15–19. [PubMed]
  • Mason SC. How the MSMS impaired physician program works. Mich Med. 1983 May;82(24):293–294. [PubMed]

Articles from Canadian Family Physician are provided here courtesy of College of Family Physicians of Canada