30 Years of Change Campaign

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Betty Cottle, MD

Betty Cottle, MD, blazed a trail for what is now the Physicians’ Health Program as an early member of the PAMED Member Committee for Impaired Physicians. She then served as an intervener to physicians who were impaired. As a result, the PHP is near and dear to her heart. “Those were interesting times,” she said. “I fought hard for the Foundation and for physicians who needed help.” She originally was appointed to the committee because she commented that there were no women represented on the committee and “women physicians face the same problems that male physicians do.” So she found herself learning about the disease and reaching out to her fellow doctors to encourage recovery. She said that she met the most remarkable human beings through this service and it solidified her pledge as a doctor. “I took an oath when I graduated medical school to provide service to others. The Foundation let me do that in a meaningful way,” she said. Physicians struggling with addiction are human. They have put so much effort and dedication into their training, she said, it is hard to watch that go to waste. She likens her involvement with helping those facing the disease to the biblical analogy of being “my brother’s keeper.”