Commentary: impaired physicians and the new politics of accountability

Acad Med. 2009 Jun;84(6):692-4. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181a402e6.


Several recent articles, including the one by Schroeder and colleagues in this issue, document violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by state medical boards that ask applicants for initial licensure and relicensure whether they have any history of mental illness. The authors of these articles argue that the boards' violation of the ADA is a disincentive for applicants to seek treatment, especially for depression. This commentary discusses the behavior of the boards, and efforts to address it, in the larger context of what organizations that educate, examine, license, certify, credential, and represent physicians are doing to improve the accountability of members of the profession and, as a result, the quality of their services.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • American Medical Association
  • Clinical Competence
  • Disabled Persons / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Policy / trends*
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Medical / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Licensure, Medical / standards*
  • Male
  • Moral Obligations
  • Physician Impairment / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Physician Impairment / statistics & numerical data
  • Policy Making
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Quality Control
  • Safety
  • Social Responsibility*
  • Specialty Boards / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States