Healthcare providers such as Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, dentists, veterinarians etc all work in extremely safety-sensitive positions. Accordingly, healthcare providers need an evaluator who is experienced working with hospital wellbeing committees, licensing boards, employee assistance programs, and diversion programs. Dr. Matthew Goldenberg is board-certified addiction psychiatrist in Santa Monica, CA who helps healthcare providers from around the country obtain an accurate diagnosis, treatment, fitness for duty evaluation and care that they need and deserve. Dr. Goldenberg has helped many healthcare providers return to work safely.
Mental Health and Fitness for Duty Evaluations for Healthcare Providers Q & A
I am required to get an evaluation, what should I do?
Dr. Goldenberg has been assisting healthcare providers return to work safety for many years. He always makes himself available for a free phone consultation to help. The first step is to setup a free brief phone consultation.
What Does the Evaluation Consist of?
The most healthcare provider evaluations begin with a 90-minute office visit, which includes a comprehensive psychiatric and substance use disorder evaluation. Dr. Goldenberg also reviews all documentation available. He will request permission to speak with at least two people who can confirm the topics that are discussed in the office. Often, this will be a family member/friend and/or a work colleague. A drug/alcohol test and blood work are ordered and reviewed. With all of this information in hand, Dr. Goldenberg then writes up a comprehensive report which covers all of the topics, areas and questions required by the requesting entity (hospital, licensing board, physician health program (PHP) etc.
What Are Common Reasons Why A Healthcare Provider Might Need an Evaluation?
Healthcare providers often come to the attention of stakeholders after an incident. There may have been a DUI (DWI), an allegation of suspected impairment or a positive drug or alcohol test. In many cases there is a specific question to answer. For example, “does the healthcare provider have a substance use disorder?”
In other cases, healthcare providers come for help before there is an incident or concern by stake holders. A healthcare provider may become concerned with their mental health or use of alcohol or substances and is seeking evaluation and treatment on their own.
Is the Evaluation Confidential?
For those healthcare providers who are required to have an evaluation, a release must be signed to allow Dr. Goldenberg to provide the protected health information (PHI) that is required in their report.
When a healthcare provider comes to the evaluation on their own, without being required by a licensing body, PHP or other stakeholder, everything stays confidential (unless the healthcare provider indicates they are a danger to themselves or others). Therefore, it is always advantageous to autonomy and anonymity to seek care before you are required to do so. Seeking help is a career enhancer, delaying seeking care can put your career in jeopardy.