Institution-wide program for impaired residents at a major teaching hospital

Kristine M. Lohr, Norman H. Engbring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


An institution-wide program for residents impaired by alcohol, other drugs, or emotional problems was established in 1983 at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals. The goal of the program was to help impaired house staff members to continue their training in a nonpunitive environment. An approach to reviewing allegations of impairment and a legal agreement between the hospital and the recovering resident were implemented. Because no residents were reported for impairment during its first two years, the program’s emphasis was shifted from an investigative to an educational, assistive role. Major problems in carrying out the program have been the program’s lack of authority to ensure cooperation by program directors and by impaired residents; a widespread unfamiliarity with intervention procedures despite efforts to inform residents, their spouses, faculty members, and administrators about the program; and misconceptions that the program is punitive. Further impediments are lack of a budget to provide educational activities, inadequate socializing between the faculty and the house staff that would enable faculty members to recognize early signs of impairment; and inadequate health insurance coverage for long-term treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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