Physician Assistance Program
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Program Overview

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Contact Us
For assistance, please call 1-800-257-4762 or
317-261-2060 and ask for the Physician Assistance Program staff.
Candace Backer,
LCSW, LCAC
Coordinator
cbacker@ismanet.org
Anne Naus Kelley,
LCSW, LCAC

Senior Case Manager
akelley@ismanet.org

Confidentiality
According to state and federal law and ISMA program policies,
all participant information is confidential.
Only in rare instances is the program required to report a physician to the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana. Also, only under limited circumstances can the program be compelled to disclose information to third parties.

Often, related parties (e.g., a partner or hospital personnel) request information regarding a program participant. With the participant's consent, periodic progress reports can be sent. However, information is not released to these entities without the participant's permission.

How to Refer
Physicians concerned about their personal health and well-being or that of a colleague may contact our program for a free and confidential consultation. Additionally, any hospital, hospital committee, partner group, practice manager or others who may have oversight responsibilities for physicians are encouraged to contact our program to arrange an initial screening.
The Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) Physician Assistance Program was created to assist physicians experiencing difficulties in their personal or professional lives. Experience indicates that an untreated psychiatric, substance use or stress disorder can eventually lead to problems in the medical practice. Obtaining assistance during these troubled times can be beneficial to the physician personally and can help avert a crisis in the professional workplace. Help is only a phone call away.

The Commission on Physician Assistance (COPA) is the physician oversight committee for the program and meets on a quarterly basis. The program is also supported by a Medical Consultant and staffed by two licensed clinical social workers (i.e., the Program Coordinator and Case Manager) and an Administrative Assistant.

Program Services

The ISMA program addresses a broad-range of concerns including:
  • Alcohol and substance use disorders
  • Mental health disorders
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Physical illnesses

Program Elements

  • Screening and, if appropriate, referral for evaluation and/or treatment
  • Consultation for physician health-related concerns
  • Case management and monitoring services designed to provide support and accountability to the physician
  • Advocacy services (e.g., status reports sent to physician's employer at physician's request)
  • Education on the program and physician health-related concerns

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