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Getting back on track: a systematic review of the outcomes of remediation and rehabilitation programmes for healthcare professionals with performance concerns
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  • Published on:
    Authors' conclusions not supported by results
    • Nicholas D Lawson, Former psychiatry resident and incoming law student Georgetown University Law Center

    Authors do not acknowledge some of the most common criticisms of these studies:

    (1) Physician health program (PHP) data may be suspect because PHPs benefit from presenting a rosy picture of their effectiveness.

    (2) Self-reports from those being evaluated by PHPs, which have much to lose from responding to surveys in ways that criticize these programs, may not be reliable.

    (3) There are considerable reasons to doubt that "programme completion," "return to practice," and "no relapse/recurrence" reflect treatment efficacy. Unwarranted referrals may also result in coerced treatment for physicians who do not have a substance use disorder or problematic performance, making "graduation" not meaningful for the purposes of drawing conclusions about PHP treatment effectiveness.

    Other concerns with this research will be addressed in forthcoming publications by the commentator.

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.