About The Foundation
The mission of the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society is to provide programs and services for individual physicians and others that improve the well-being of Pennsylvanians and sustain the future of medicine. Established in 1954, the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, serves as the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Medical Society with a focus to provide: access to medical school education; peer monitoring for physicians who suffer from substance use disorders, mental health issues and behavioral concerns; and unbiased clinical competency assessment services for physicians. All Foundation programs are undergirded by philanthropic support. Contributions from our generous donors make up more than 41 percent of the operating budget. In addition to the programs listed below, The Foundation also provides bookkeeping and financial service management to more than 30 associations and specialty societies.
Student Financial Services
Through its founding program, Student Financial Services, the Foundation administers 11 scholarship funds and a loan program. More than $21.4 million has been distributed to more than 4,633 medical students with financial needs.
Physicians’ Health Program
The Foundation’s premier program is the Physicians’ Health Program (PHP). The PHP provides monitoring and advocacy for physicians and other eligible health care professionals who have substance use disorders, mental health issues or behavioral concerns that impact their ability to practice their chosen profession safely. The PHP is one of the largest and most fully developed physicians’ health programs in the country. It has cooperative working relationships with the State Board of Medicine, the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, the Board of Dentistry and Podiatry, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, hospitals, medical staffs, and managed care organizations. The PHP has assisted more than 4,500 Pennsylvania physicians and other eligible health care professionals since its inception in 1987. Annually the PHP receives approximately 260 referrals and monitors more than 470 cases. The program is funded by grants; contributions from physicians, hospitals and others interested in physician health issues; and participant fees.
The Foundation’s nationally recognized program, LifeGuard, is a vanguard for addressing clinical competency assessment needs for physicians and other health care professionals. Serving physicians in more than 24 states, LifeGuard provides comprehensive assessment services and recommendations for remediation tailored to the individual needs of physicians and other eligible health care professionals. Through carefully customized evaluation programs, LifeGuard aims to facilitate higher performing physicians, promote patient safety and enhance the quality of medical care provided to ensure complete clinical competence. LifeGuard is not associated with any health system and as a core tenant utilizes a team of independent evaluators who have an explicit goal to fairly evaluate the physician. Core pathways include: re-entry/reinstatement, quality of care, practice monitoring, fitness for duty and late career assessment.