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July 15, 1983

Treatment of Impaired Physicians-Reply

Author Affiliations

California Diversion Program for Impaired Physicians Sacramento

JAMA. 1983;250(3):359-360. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340030021013

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In Reply.—  Dr Robert Larsen has asked a number of questions regarding the JAMA article entitled "The California Experience with a Diversion Program for Impaired Physicians." The following are answers to most of Dr Larsen's questions.Physicians who are referred but do not become participants in the program do not gain admittance for a number of reasons. The program is a voluntary one that may divert physicians from formal disciplinary action by the Board of Medical Quality Assurance (BMQA). While in the beginning there was a larger percentage of board-referred than selfreferred physicians, as months passed, more physicians who applied were self-referred. By self-referred, it is meant that there was no investigation or accusation under way by BMQA. This means that if the physician was self-referred and decided after hearing about the program or having a treatment contract designed for him that he didn't wish to participate, he could decline