Many doctors don’t report on troubled colleagues

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CHICAGO (AP) - A new study finds too many doctors who work with drunk, drug-addicted or incompetent colleagues fail to report them.

A surprising 17 percent of the doctors surveyed had personal knowledge of an impaired or incompetent physician at work.

One-third of those doctors had not reported the problem to hospital officials or state medical boards. The findings were based on a survey of nearly 1,900 practicing U.S. doctors.

Programs exist for retraining doctors with weak skills and getting addicted ones into treatment. The study’s lead author, Catherine Desroches of Harvard Medical School, says the survey results suggest doctors aren’t confident in the system.

The findings appear in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Online:

JAMA: http://jama.ama-assn.org

Programs by state: http://www.fsphp.org/

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