UAMS Medical Staff Health Committee (Physician Health Committee)
The committee concerns itself with behavior of members of the hospital medical staff, including residents, that may indicate impairments of their professional performance by reason of alcohol use or abuse, drug use or abuse, mental illness, physical illness, or a combination of such factors.
We recognize a moral and ethical obligation to protect our patients from the potentially adverse consequences of care administered by impaired physicians
We recognize a moral and ethical obligation to assist our physician colleagues who suffer from a potentially impairing condition
Factors contributing to alcohol/drug abuse among physicians
- Stressful lifestyle
- long hours, sleep deprivation, financial debt, limited free time, concern over career goals, perfectionism, isolation, unmet personal needs
- tendency to self-medicate, availability and familiarity with drugs
- Peer protection
- “I need this hydrocodone/Stadol/etc for my sore shoulder/migraines/etc to be better able to do rounds/clinic/call”
- “It’s OK to get wasted on my day off – I deserve it”
- “I know all about these things – how they work, what they do – I can control them”
- “It’s not a problem -It’s chic – Everybody does it”
- “Leave me alone! If I’m hurting anyone, I’m hurting no one by myself” “What I do at home/off is my own business”
Some indications of possible impairment due to substance abuse
- smell of alcohol on breath/sweat
- bad/frequent hangover signs and symptoms
- inappropriate behavior at work; difficult to reach when on call; frequently needs coverage or “bailing out by peers/associates
- reports of DWI’s or stories of “wild behavior”
- persistent rumors of use of legal/illegal substances; drug-seeking behaviors
- writing inappropriate prescriptions
- declining academic/clinical performance
If you think you may suffer from potential impairment by virtue of a substance abuse, mental, or physical disorder, let us help you – your self-referral to the Committee will be handled in strict confidence
If you suspect potential impairment in a fellow physician, help us to help them – notify your program director, department chairman and/or a member of the Medical Staff Health Committee
Who’s on the committee?
Five or more members of the medical staff, reflecting to the extent possible the diversity of the medical staff
- Danny Wilkerson, MD; Chairman
- Margaret Morgan-Cohen, EAP
- Mark Hagemeier, JD
- Deidre Wyrick, MD
- Michael Mancino, MD
- Robert Lavender, MD
- Forrest “Bernie” Miller, MD
- Kent Westbrook, MD
- Jim Clardy, MD
- Greg Sharp, MD
How the Committee works
- evaluation of the credibility of complaints, allegations, or concern brought to the attention of the committee
- Facilitation of treatment
- assistance in accessing appropriate Rx options
- monitoring the treatment/recovery process
- Our purpose is assistance and rehabilitation:
- We are not police!
- We are about salvaging careers and lives
- We are here if or when you need us:
- If you are sick, let us help
- If you suspect a colleague is sick, help us to help them
Alumni Association Office
Founded in 1969, this organization is the present day successor to various attempts dating back to at least 1894 to have a strong and active UAMS College of Medicine alumni organization. Membership includes not only alumni but also current and former house officers, faculty, all physicians practicing in Arkansas, and friends of the College.
Activities for the benefit of housestaff depend on current needs. In the past the Alumni Association remodeled and painted the University Hospital Neonatal ICU call room/conference room, bought the combination locks for all of the housestaff call rooms at UH, helped underwrite the expense for dinner for the Department of Internal Medicine Seminar and provided the Telephone Cards for all housestaff members. We also offer financial and other support for the Interns’ & Residents’ Spouses Auxiliary.
For departments that request it, we send “Little Rock Survival packets” to all residents new to the area, containing maps and other information on Arkansas.
- Judith McClain, 526-4330
- Ginny Rice, 686-6684
- Rena Pakis, 686-5920
The Women’s Faculty Development Caucus
The Women’s Faculty Development Caucus was established in 1989 to address the disparity between the growing numbers of women in medicine and the lack of women in leadership positions within academic medicine. The mission is to inspire, encourage, and enable women physicians and scientists to realize their professional and personal goals. See their website at www.uams.edu/facultyaffairs/default.asp
Student and Employee Health Services (SEHS)
In order to ensure the safety and health of our employees, patients and visitors, all new employees, including Housestaff, must complete a New Employee Medical Screening within the first 30 days of employment. Some of the services available free of charge to residents at Student & Employee Health Services are New Employee Medical Screening, yearly TB skin tests, baseline EKG, color vision screening, and blood pressure check.
Please see their web site for locations and hours and call 686-6565 for appointments.