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Stories from Doctors


Physicians in Recovery can be a very sensitive topic.  Sadly, much misunderstanding exists and is perpetuated by the media.  Nobody wants to think the physician they rely on for medical care might need care himself.  It is estimated that one in ten Americans has experienced problems with alcohol or drugs.  Physicians are not immune to these problems.  In fact, their stressful lifestyle, long hours and access to medications likely puts them at greater risk.  With over 130,000 licensed M.D.s in California, this would place the estimated number of doctors who could need help at 13,000.  The question isn’t whether California physicians need support for recovery.  The question is how do they get help.  The following stories are true stories written by physicians who have successfully recovered from the desperation of alcohol and drug problems.  We hope you find their experience, strength and hope inspirational.

The first story comes from a physician who successfully completed the Medical Board Diversion Program prior to its closure.  Following closure of the Diversion Program, Pacific Assistance Group and the group facilitators from the Diversion Program began offering a similar, but private program.  Although improvements were made, we still take pride in the successes of many fine California physicians whose lives and practices were saved by the old program.

The following pages contain stories from doctors in recovery who completed Diversion and/or Pacific Assistance Group’s Professional Support & Monitoring Program.  In these stories, you may find the Pacific Assistance Group program affectionately referred to as “PAG” – as it has come to be known.  Click on the links below for the stories:

The Doctor Who Drank Too Much
The Addicted Anesthesiologist

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