Study Shows Doctors Are Unlikely to Report Incompetent Colleagues

The Study, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that many doctors will not report their colleagues who are clearly unfit to practice medicine.  In the study, 17% of the doctors surveyed had DIRECT knowledge of an incompetent or drug addicted physician in their workplace. Of those doctors, one-third failed to report their knowledge to superiors. Among the reasons given for failing to act: belief that someone else will take care of it; that nothing will be done; retribution for being a whistle-blower. One fifth of all doctors having direct knowledge of drug or alcohol abuse is a very large number. The number of physicians who may suspect that their colleague is on drugs or incompetent will be much higher.