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Comment & Response
October 2, 2013

Protection of Patients From Physician Substance Misuse

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Division of Medical Toxicology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
JAMA. 2013;310(13):1402-1403. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277948

To the Editor Dr Pham and colleagues1 suggested innovative ways to protect patients. We recognize that physician substance misuse occurs and agree that prevention could improve patient safety. However, there is insufficient evidence that random drug testing of physicians effectively improves quality or performance. Targeted testing based on reasonable suspicion should be used instead for any physician who appears impaired.