Working for You
By: Raymond C. Truex Jr., MD, FAANS, FACS
Title: Medical Director, Pennsylvania Physician’s Health Program
When did you join the PHP?July of 2017
What kind of work did you do before arriving at the PHP?
I was a practicing neurosurgeon. My neurosurgical career began at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1975. I became the section chief of pediatric neurosurgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In 1990 I relocated to Reading Hospital and Medical Center (now Tower Health) where I practiced adult and pediatric neurosurgery for 27 years prior to retiring from surgical practice in 2017.
What do you do at the PHP?
My duties at the PHP are varied. I am responsible for checking the medications for safety that each of our participants are using and keep track of the prescriptions that the participants submit for documentation of their medication use. I also check the daily toxicology lab reports and take action where necessary to investigate a positive lab test for a controlled substance. I participate in our biweekly case conferences to remain current on all of our participant issues. I facilitate in the agreement signing process for each new participant, explaining in detail the various requirements of the PHP. I conduct an exit interview for participants who are completing their five-year agreements with the PHP. I give lectures on addiction and physician burnout to medical and physician assistant schools and training programs, and to hospitals and county medical societies. I conduct Medical Director interviews for physicians who are entering the evaluation process for the LifeGuard program. I participate in administrative committees for the Federation of State Physician’s Health Programs and attend the organizations yearly educational forum. I provide Medical Director reports to the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and to the PHP Advisory Committee.
Why do you think the work being done at the PHP is so important?
The PHP is responsible for saving the health and careers of thousands of Pennsylvania physicians who otherwise would have been sanctioned and discarded through disciplinary action, while at the same time protecting the citizens of Pennsylvania from injury by physicians who are practicing while impaired. These physicians are a resource to their communities, and through the recovery process, become better able to serve their patients with understanding, empathy, and humility.
Please share a personal “fun fact”.
I am well on the way to funding the Truex Family Scholarship with the Foundation, to be given to a financially distressed minority medical student at Temple University School of Medicine. It is an excellent way for me to “give back” for all that Temple has done for me.