President's Message

President's Message: Scott Hambleton, MD, DFASAM, Spring 2024

Spring 2024
As I write my farewell message for the Federation’s spring edition of Physician Health News, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and reflection as well as an unwavering commitment to the mission of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs to support physician health programs in improving the health of medical professionalsRead more.

President's Message: Scott Hambleton, MD, DFASAM, Fall 2023

Fall 2023
Bob Hope once said, “You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake!” And as I celebrated my sixtieth birthday earlier this year, I could relate. However, since I have been on a keto diet, I didn’t have any cake. At any rate, time seems to disappear faster and faster, with each passing year. Astonishingly, I can hardly believe that our 2023 Annual Education Conference has already come and gone! Read more.

President's Message: Scott Hambleton, MD, DFASAM, Spring/Summer 2023

Spring/Summer 2023
As we prepare for our 2023 Annual Education Conference in Minneapolis in May, reflecting on the work of the Federation in preparation for this event gives me a sense of tremendous gratitude and excitement! This event has been the highlight of my year, every year since the
first one that I attended in 2007 during my Addiction Medicine Fellowship in Mississippi. Read more.

President's Message: Scott Hambleton, MD, DFASAM, Winter 2022

Winter 2022
It is apparent to me that individual state PHPs and the Federation will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic weathered but stronger than ever and this is great news! Considering the horrific impact of the virus, finding any silver lining is a delightful surprise. With that in mind, I would like to talk about some of these silver linings and why I am excited about our future. Read more

President's Message: Christopher Bundy, MD, MPH, FASAM, Spring 2022

Spring 2022
It is traditional for the outgoing FSPHP president to use this space to reflect on the organization’s progress over the prior two years. Like my predecessor, Dr. Paul Earley, I will spare you the accomplishment inventory. We’ve done a lot of stuff, in a short amount of time, driven by necessity and the pressures wrought by a global pandemic. Yes, we can all be proud of our progress. It has been nothing short of remarkable and we are well on our way to the future that Dr. Earley envisioned in his message in the spring of 2020. But I don’t really want to talk about that. Before I go, I want to talk about something I call the “equivalence problem.” Read more

President's Message: Christopher Bundy, MD, MPH, FASAM, Fall/Winter 2021

Fall 2021
This past May I marked my seventh year with the Washington Physicians Health Program, five as its Executive Medical Director. While I am not the most senior member of our Federation, somewhere along the line I seem to have graduated from my FSPHP residency. One of the things I have noticed lately is the many new PHP medical directors among our ranks, many of whom I have had the pleasure of getting to know better this year. It has reminded me of just how challenging PHP work can be, especially in the beginning. Read more

President's Message: Christopher Bundy, MD, MPH, FASAM, Spring 2021

Spring 2021
Amidst the confusion and chaos of difficult times, the stories of hope and triumph in this issue of PHN make this much certain: Our work is, and has always been, a force for good in the universe. Here, we celebrate our tireless efforts to make the world a better place. There are easier ways to make
a living. The work can be challenging and exhausting, but the rewards are proportional and the positive impact to humanity, seen and unseen, is immeasurable. Read more

President's Message: Christopher Bundy, MD, MPH, FASAM, Fall/Winter 2020

Fall 2020
On January 20, 2020, the first confirmed U.S. case of COVID-19 occurred in Washington State. By February, a nursing home outbreak would make Washington our nation’s first epicenter of what would become a global pandemic.
Fear and uncertainty gripped the country as we struggled to understand what was happening, who was at risk, how the disease was spread, and the potential impact to ourselves, our loved ones, the healthcare infrastructure, and the economy. Social collapse suddenly became a near future possibility. However, the dire circumstances galvanized a healthcare workforce that rose heroically to answer the call. Read more

President's Message: Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, Spring 2020

April 2020
It is characteristic in this slot of our spring newsletter for the FSPHP President to reflect on their tenure, holding a spotlight on the progress made during the past two years. I will spare you, reader, the dalliance of a nostalgic trip down a very short lane.  Instead, I would like to look into the future, projecting a rough timeline of where we will be in the next five years. To do that, I will have to review elements of the pivotal progress we have made, however, so I confess you will have to endure a modicum of my nostalgic bent. Read more

President's Message: Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, Fall 2019

October 2019
We are living in an era of national divisiveness, where poorly formed or baseless opinions are used as fodder for derision on the public stage. Fueled by social media, where truth is unnecessary or irrelevant, even our public leaders use unbridled hostility as a weapon of power against those with whom they disagree. This attitude of considering the opposing views of others as categorically erroneous (and a sign of ignorance, stupidity, and even evil) has spread to all of us in varying degrees, even those who have been trained to rely on science as the basis for verisimilitude.  Read more

President's Message: Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, Spring 2019

April 2019
Two thousand nineteen has started out with a bang for the Federation of State Physician Health Programs, with more active projects than any time in our history. I am sure many of our readers will be coming to our Annual Meeting to hear all about it, but I wanted to tell you more about the interlocking pieces of our biggest project to date. Read more

President's Message: Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, Winter 2018

December 2018
Change is accelerating. We can feel it in almost every sphere of human endeavor. Some areas are accelerating faster than we can imagine, even if we try very hard to do so (e.g., artificial intelligence), and some are just changing whether we like it or not (e.g., medicine). All are changing. Speaking personally, I have aged to the point where I regularly fall back into lamenting “the good old days” when considering many human endeavors, but none more so than medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I do not prefer the crude rendition of a plain film of my knee to the detail of an MRI. What I miss are the times when my internist actually knew my medical history and communicated it to my specialist via a formal letter. Now I show up for an appointment and the specialist asks, “Why exactly are you here?”  Read more

President's Message: P. Bradley Hall, MD, Spring 2018

April 2018
Burnout and the FSPHP: A Paradox for Success P. Bradley Hall, MD, DABAM, DFASAM The term burnout itself is a paradox of sorts—almost a “pejorative blessing.” Initially indicating a condition of the individual physician, burnout garnered a preponderance of attention from the house of medicine at the individual level all the way to national organizations representing or serving those individuals experiencing burnout. As result, it is now recognized more accurately as a cause for concern that goes...Read more
September 2017
FSPHP Strong: “Onward and Forward” P. Bradley Hall, MD As I reflect on our most recent annual meeting and where we have been as an organization, where we are, and where we are headed, all I can say is “WOW.” Per routine, the highlight of the year for me was the annual education conference and business meeting this past April. Attendance continues to grow, as does the relevant content of physician health programs, physician health, and beyond. I could feel the energy and passion radiating...Read more
April 2017
FSPHP Strong through “UNITY” P. Bradley Hall, MD I quote from the end of my previous President’s Message in the fall 2016 newsletter: During my tenure as president, I hope to facilitate the FSPHP’s ability to fulfill its mission ‘to support physician health programs in improving the health of medical professionals, thereby contributing to quality patient care.’ As president the most gratifying thing I can do is focus on the FSPHP organizational maturation and associated goals in hopes of...Read more
November 2016
I attended my first Federation Annual Meeting in 2006 and never before had I been so openly and warmly welcomed by a group with such experience, expertise, and passion toward the work they do. I was new in developing a physician health program (PHP) in West Virginia. Over the next two years I was the recipient of incredible guidance of many “lions in the field” of physician health, the FSPHP guidelines and many other state PHP documents which were openly shared without expectation beyond the...Read more
March 2015
Twenty-Five Years: A Remarkable Journey! As far back as 1958, formal efforts were made to address issues pertaining to physician illness and impairment. Historically, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) identified addiction among physicians as a disciplinary problem rather than a health problem, consistent with the belief that addiction was a moral failure, rather than the disease we know it is today. Ultimately, the FSMB called for the development of a model program to assist...Read more
August 2014
Why Focus on Physician Wellness? “In no relationship is the physician more derelict than in his duty to himself.” —Sir William Osler Most physicians who enter medicine are intellectually curious, enthusiastic, and industrious workers. We choose to lead a life of service with all the attendant rewards. We are afforded the privilege of taking care of patients, making a meaningful difference in the lives of others by curing illnesses or, at the very least, diminishing pain and suffering. We are...Read more
March 2014
“It is the age of foolishness, it is the age of wisdom… it is the winter of despair; it is the spring of hope” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities It has been my great privilege to serve as your FSPHP President for the last two years. Together, we have accomplished a number of great things, and have set more in motion. I’d like to highlight one of FSPHP’s primary areas of work over the last year. Specifically, your Federation has been in dialogue with the American Board of Medical...Read more
August 2013
“Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, it is not yet the end.” —Sonny in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel The 2013 FSPHP conference experience was not what any of us expected, and one we will not soon forget. How often does one hear the phrases “don’t forget to turn in your CME forms” and “the hotel will be on lockdown today” from the lectern of your average medical conference? My own trip to Boston began with a glimpse of Air Force One sitting on the airport tarmac...Read more
March 2013
Working in the field of physician and general professional health is an honor, as well as tremendously rewarding and challenging. This has been my experience in North Carolina, and at the national level. Since being given the privilege of serving as your Federation President, I’ve become more acutely aware of the opportunities and challenges we face nationally. The opportunity to work with some incredibly dedicated and talented people in the Federation has also been greatly energizing. Earlier...Read more
April 2012
I will be ending my presidency this April after three-and-a-half years of service. During this time, it is my pleasure to share our accomplishments. We contributed to the Federation of State Medical Boards’ (FSMB) Policy on Physician Impairment, which not only reflects our guidelines, but also our overall approach to physician health problems (the exception being continued use of the word “impairment” in the title). We also played a substantial role in the development of physician health...Read more
April 2011
We live in a time when state physician health programs (PHPs) are being challenged and have experienced turnover. On the other side of the equation, we can be grateful and proud of our gains in the past two decades. In 1992, when I first became the medical director of the New York Physician Health Program, there were no principles or clinical guidelines to follow except those of good addiction or other psychiatric treatment. Very little in the medical literature specifically addressed physician...Read more