An editorial titled “Tough Medical Board is Good” appeared in the May 5, 2016 edition of The Columbus Dispatch.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians will be sending a letter to the editor responding to several points. We certainly do not want impaired physicians providing care to patients but we don’t want fear of retribution from the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) to cause physicians who need help not to seek it. After all, mental illness and substance use disorder are diseases not behavior choices. People, including physicians, should receive appropriate treatment so they can return to their chosen professions as soon as possible. The SMBO should protect the public but it should also be interested in helping impaired physicians get well.
Physician burnout is a real issue that can contribute to this issue. Lawmakers and regulators need to be concerned about the impact administrative burdens and “hamster wheel” medicine are having on physicians and their health.