Abram M. Hostetter, MD
Served as chair, Foundation Board of Trustees from the year that the PHP
became official (1986-2002).
He says remembers that milestone fondly. "During my time as board chair we saw significant developments. We incorporated what is now the Physicians’ Health Program into the Foundation to impact the lives of doctors. The organization, has grown a tremendous amount since the days when we were seemingly a small committee with one staff person."
Since then, the program has grown significantly in reputation and in services. It is now one of the largest and most fully developed physicians' health programs in the country. The PHP has a cooperative working relationship with the State Board of Medicine, State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, Pennsylvania Medical Society, and are contracted by the Pennsylvania Dental Society to assist all licensed dental professionals. PHP assists all physicians (MDs and DOs), physician assistants, medical students, dentists, dental hygienists, and expanded function dental assistants.
Today, the PHP is needed more than ever, according to Hostetter. "Physicians are now working more in teams and are not their own boss anymore. In the past they were able to set their own pace, but they are being pushed to do more than ever. Physicians are under scrutiny, fear the threat of malpractice, bend to time pressures at the same time are accountable to more government regulations, licensing, MOC, EHRs and CME. Teams are economically dependent on the doctor.
"Our culture of chemical support makes it more likely for physicians under pressure to turn to drinking, tranquilizers, pain medicines and more," says Hostetter. "We need to keep the PHP strong to catch them when they fall."