Mandated Psychotherapy with the Impaired Physician

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Physicians and other prescribers of medication are in a unique position with regard to substance misuse. Each physician must abide by the licensing guidelines of the state medical board in their geographical location of practice. When a physician has legal charges regarding substance use, he or she must report to the medical board and undergo monitoring for several years. The recommendations of the board may include mandatory psychotherapy. The following composite cases are illustrative of the implications of one physician treating another physician under the auspices of a mandate.