About PHP

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Physicians' Health Program



Substance use and mental health disorders are prevalent in the community and equally common among physicians and other healthcare professionals and trainees. We strongly endorse the Medical Model of Substance Use Disorders as it accurately describes chronic illness while attempting to minimize shame and moralization. We support the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s definition of substance use disorders which includes biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects. Education of the public and licensed health professionals in Pennsylvania is of primary importance. We encourage early recognition of substance use disorders, mental health disorders as well as behavioral concerns to facilitate effective treatment and carry the message of hope. The Physicians’ Health Program accomplishes this through cooperation with the Federation of State Physician Health Programs, Inc. as well as with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Our mission is early identification and rehabilitation of physicians and other eligible healthcare professionals and trainees with concerns relating to substance use disorders, mental health disorders, and/or behavioral concerns with the goal of arranging assessment and treatment as well as providing monitoring and advocacy for their safe return to the practice of their profession. This is for the benefit of the healthcare profession and the safety of the public they serve.


The Physicians' Health Program (PHP), a program of The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, provides support and advocacy to physicians struggling with addiction or mental challenges. The PHP is funded by grants and contributions from physicians, hospitals, and others interested in physician health issues.

The PHP began as a volunteer-based impaired physician program in 1970. Physician volunteers handled the casework, with assistance from a part-time Pennsylvania Medical Society staff member. In the 1980s, the Medical Society responded to the growing need for services by hiring a medical director and case managers. The Foundation assumed administration of the program and named it Physicians' Health Programs. 

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, and Pennsylvania Medical Society.

Questions? Email our staff.