To the Editor: The study by Dr DesRoches and colleagues1 addressed important issues related to peer reporting of physician impairment and the self-regulation of the medical profession. The authors presented data supporting the conclusion that the percentage of physicians willing to report impaired peers must be increased in order to responsibly regulate from within. However, there may be more encouraging conclusions to make from the study's data when considering the terms impaired and incompetent and focusing on the resources available to help the peer reporter assist the impaired or incompetent physician to access evaluation and treatment when appropriate.
Truex RC. Physicians’ Experiences With Impaired Colleagues. JAMA. 2010;304(17):1895–1897. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1558