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November 3, 2010

Physicians’ Experiences With Impaired Colleagues

JAMA. 2010;304(17):1895-1897. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1559

To the Editor: In the study by Dr DesRoches and colleagues,1 about two-thirds of physician respondents agreed that they should report impaired or incompetent colleagues, and two-thirds reported that they were prepared to deal with such colleagues. Of those who stated having personal knowledge of such colleagues, about two-thirds reported them to a relevant authority. The authors concluded that the study “calls into question the willingness and ability of physicians to identify and report colleagues whose ability to practice medicine is impaired by alcohol or drug use or by physical or mental illness, as well as those incompetent to practice because of deficits in knowledge and skills.”

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