Reporting impaired physicians/self-reporting

Ala. Code 34-24-361(b) provides that licensed physicians are required to report to the Board or the Commission any information they may have which appears to show that any Alabama licensed physician may be unable to safely practice medicine by reason of alcohol/drug abuse, mental or physical condition, or any other reason.

A physician who in good faith makes such a report is not liable to any person for any statement or opinion made in such report.

Ala. Code 34-24-405(c) provides that a report to the Alabama Physician Wellness Committee shall be deemed to be a report to the Board for the purposes of any mandated reporting of physician impairment otherwise provided for by the statutes of this state.

The Alabama Physician Health Program was established and is authorized by the Board of Medical Examiners. The purpose of the program is to  encourage early referral of physicians (including residents and medical students) who APHP logohave problems that could lead to impairment. The program is confidential and non-punitive.

The goal is to provide a clinical mechanism to obtain appropriate assistance prior to having significant impairment that could damage the physician’s career or harm patients. 

Anyone may contact the program to discuss concerns and/or receive information about policies, procedures, and/or statistics (anonymous inquiries are accepted).

Participation by the troubled physician is voluntary. The APHP is authorized by the Board of Medical Examiners to assist physicians or residents in lieu of Board investigation or disciplinary action.

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