76% Of Physician License Actions Related To Substance Abuse


By Erica Carbajal

In a study involving 5,023 actions against the licenses of U.S. physicians, 76.3 percent were related to substance abuse, according to findings published June 3.

The findings are based on physician license actions reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank between 2004 to 2020.

Three key findings:

1. A total of 3,841 license actions, or 76.3 percent, were related to substance abuse. Actions taken for this peaked in 2011 but otherwise declined in frequency across the 17-year period.

2. Physical impairment accounted for 614 or 12.2 percent of license actions, followed by psychological impairment at 577 or 11.5 percent.

3. Physicians with license actions related to substance abuse or psychological impairment were more likely to have an indefinite rather than permanent penalty and have emergency action taken against their license.


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    • Editor-in Chief:
    • Theodore Massey
    • Editor:
    • Robert Sokonow
    • Editorial Staff:
    • Musaba Dekau
      Lin Takahashi
      Thomas Levine
      Cynthia Casteneda Avina
      Ronald Harvinger
      Lisa Andonis

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