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Referrals

If you’re concerned about yourself or a colleague, call PHS at 781-434-7404, or toll free at 800-322-2303, ext. 7404.

Upon calling, please clarify if it is your first time calling PHS or if you have been referred to PHS and ask to speak with a PHS Professional.

At the time of the first contact, it is helpful to be able to provide some of the following information:

  • The name of the physician seeking services
  • The nature of the concern
  • Any history and factors related to the concern
  • Documentation of any previous services or treatment received
  • Documentation of any complaints that may have initiated the contact or may have been made regarding performance

When you refer an individual to PHS, please plan to address:

  • Whether or not the referral is being made as an exception to the mandated reporting law
  • Any time constraints or parameters related to the referral
  • Your own plan of action and expectations (if the referral is being made by a physician health committee of a hospital, or by another such facility or entity)

PHS recommends that you put in writing to the individual, with a copy to PHS, your expectations, plans, and time frames, with respect to PHS involvement.

Once a physician contacts PHS, confidentiality parameters prevent PHS from communicating with any third parties including the referral source unless there is a signed consent in place. Please be sure to obtain consent from the physician you have referred allowing you to communicate with PHS and PHS to communicate with you.  As consents can be withdrawn, it is important to confirm that consent remains in place throughout the assessment process by seeking regular confirmation and/or documentation from PHS. 

Referring a Physician to PHS

Meet with the individual in a private setting. Consider having a colleague assist you in the meeting. Review specific work performance and/or behavioral or health issues and concerns. Clearly define your expectations for improvement. Explain PHS’s mission and emphasize the free services, confidentiality, and professionalism. Stress that PHS focuses on wellness and in assessing medical, psychiatric, and health problems that may potentially affect ability to practice and work safely. Provide information on how to contact PHS to make an appointment. Inform the individual that a release of information would need to be signed for you to confirm their contact and involvement at PHS.

Here are some guidelines to consider when you are approaching a colleague regarding your concerns:

  • State the facts that have led to concern.
  • Describe state regulations on reporting
  • Bring in another person, a colleague to assist you in the meeting.
  • Begin with a monologue. This is not a debate. After you have finished, you will be happy to listen and engage in discussion.
  • State that a formal evaluation is required.
  • Insist on a report back and follow-up.

Evaluate Reporting Obligations

It is encouraged that reporting obligations be reviewed. PHS has expertise and information regarding these obligations and the important exception to reporting. 

Mandated Reporting and Exceptions

Follow-up with the Physician and PHS Following the Referral

An initial PHS assessment typically involves two to three meetings. The first meeting often takes place with the director of PHS, and follow-up meetings may be indicated with an associate director. It is important to understand that PHS may recommend an independent evaluation as part of our assessment. We are available to guide this entire process and provide confidentiality and expertise. The process can take up to three to four weeks to coalesce our recommendations. Our recommendations are intended to identify any health problems and describe a monitoring plan when indicated.

More information on Helping Yourself or a Colleague

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ANNOUNCEMENT OF OPEN POSITION AT PHS

PHS is actively recruiting for a Medical Director. This is a unique opportunity to be an important part of a mission driven non-profit organization that supports the health, well-being, and effectiveness of physicians and medical students in MA. PHS is currently accepting applications, through the job posting here: MMS website. Please review the job description and apply. You may also contact a member of the search committee: Mary Anna Sullivan, MD, Chair, PHS Board of Directors; Glenn Pransky, MD, Director, PHS Board of Directors; Booker Bush, MD, Director, PHS Board of Directors; Dustin Patil, MD, Director, PHS Board of Directors; Bara Litman-Pike, PsyD, Executive Director PHS.

PHS is looking for great candidates to apply to this important position. We welcome your interest. The job is posted on this link on the MMS website.

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