9.10 Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Dependence

Physician Health Services, Massachusetts Medical Society 
Steve Adelman, MD, Director
1-781-434-7404 or 1-800-322-2303, ext. 7404

From time to time, physicians and medical students confront health problems that have the potential to interfere with the ability to practice medicine. Among the threats to physician and medical student health are substance use disorders, along with a variety of mental, behavioral and medical problems. Without proper evaluation and treatment, these conditions can jeopardize health and well-being, disrupt families and ruin careers. Many medical students who have concerns about these problems feel inhibited from seeking help from the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), even though HUHS is completely confidential and separate from the administration of the Medical School. 

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) has established the Physician Health Services (PHS), a non-profit corporation of MMS, to help physicians and medical students with these issues. PHS is a non-profit outreach, support and monitoring program that handles all referrals in a compassionate and confidential manner. Participation in the program is voluntary. 

HMS students who have had health-related problems have found PHS helpful for recovering from substance use disorders and for resolving other health concerns. This helps students keep their medical careers on track. Any student who has a concern about drug or alcohol use, a behavioral health concern or a mental or physical illness should feel free to talk to his or her physician at the Harvard University Health Services or to call Dr. Steve Adelman at PHS at 781-434-7404 (www.physicianhealth.org).

Last updated 12/17/18