Our Process

Without treatment and engagement in recovery, a substance use disorder can be a life-threatening illness. Early detection of substance use disorders can mean the difference between life and death. For more than 37 years, the Pennsylvania Physicians’ Health Program (PA PHP) has provided support and advocacy to physicians, dentists and other eligible health care professionals suffering from a substance use disorder, mental illness or behavioral concerns that impact their ability to practice their chosen profession safely. If you or someone you know is battling with a substance use disorder or mental illness, please call the PA PHP today.

For those entering the PA PHP, the first step is an evaluation. If needed, we will help the participant find appropriate treatment, and offer monitoring services. For those involved in the PA PHP program, we can provide advocacy when necessary. For more information about PA PHP services, refer to each of the following benchmarks:

Screening and Referral for Evaluation:

All services provided by the PA PHP are kept completely confidentiality.

It is our goal to provide each person with the services they need to recover. The PAPHP staff is committed to developing an individualized approach for you.

The highly trained and experienced case management staff are available to help participants find the most appropriate resource for assessment. When calling, a case manager will conduct a brief screening to collect relevant information so we can provide the physician, dentist or other eligible health care professional with a list of providers who can complete an independent assessment.

Any referral made by the PA PHP will be directed to providers who specialize in the assessment of health care professionals.

*The PHP does not provide any assessment or treatment services.


Coordination of Treatment:

If a diagnosis is indicated during assessment, for which treatment is needed, the PA PHP will help the participant find an appropriate avenue for treatment. Our case management team, along with PA PHP medical directors, will work to find you a provider or facility that specializes in your area of need. Moreover, many of these partnerships are built on long-standing working relationships with the PA PHP and understand the needs of our participants. Release of Information Form

Remediation services could include, but are not limited to:

  • Detoxification
  • Inpatient therapy
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • General outpatient

While in treatment, the PA PHP staff will continue to work closely with the treatment provider or facility to make sure you are receiving the support and resources necessary to address your illness. Most cases involve regular calls and communication pertaining to your progress. It is our goal is to monitor and make sure you are receiving the best care.



For over 35 years the PA PHP has provided monitoring services to physicians and other medical professionals. Our long-term monitoring approach allows the PA PHP to collect documentation of recovery activities, which can then be used to advocate for present participants.

After completing an assessment, and if treatment is needed, the PA PHP will work with a provider to develop an individualized monitoring agreement. While agreements are unique to the individual, most agreements include:

  • Toxicology Testing
  • On-going therapy
  • Peer monitoring
  • Workplace monitoring
  • 12-step meeting attendance (AA/NA/other)
  • Routine check-in calls with the PA PHP

In addition to the list above, PA PHP agreements could include attending CME courses, follow up assessments to determine return to work eligibility, and appropriate follow up with health care providers.

*Some amendments could be made based on a case-by-case basis to ensure quality of treatment.


While documentation is collected during the monitoring process, the PA PHP acts behind the scene as an advocate to provide periodic reports on the participant’s behalf to designated parties. In doing so, participants receive support that could easily determine the likelihood of future practice. The PA PHP is also available to testify in hearings on the behalf of participants, if permission is granted.

Peer decision bodies that could receive program monitoring reports include:

  • Employers/hospitals
  • Medical schools or residency programs
  • Credentialing departments
  • State Boards of Medicine/Specialty Boards
  • Other state PHPs
  • Insurance companies
  • Attorneys
  • Other court and legal systems

Release of Information Form