FSPHP Guidelines, Policies and Position Statements

FSPHP Guidelines


FSPHP Research Guidelines for Investigators

These guidelines were developed by the FSPHP to help investigators interested in working with Physician Health Programs (PHPs) or with data enerated by PHPs, in order to inform prospective investigators, standardize procedures, and facilitate research collaboration. The guidelines are meant to promote and facilitate research excellence in the field of physician health. 
Click here to download the Research Guidelines
Click here to submit a Research Proposal Planning Sheet to FSPHP.

2019 FSPHP Physician Health Program Guidelines

The Federation of State Physician Health Program Guidelines have been designed by FSPHP members with subject matter expertise to assist State Physician Health Programs (PHPs) with achieving accountability, consistency and excellence.  An earlier version of these Guidelines was developed and accepted by the Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) in 2005. The new 2019 FSPHP PHPs Guidelines  expand upon the original Guidelines, reflecting developments in the science, practice, and scope of PHP services over the past decade. Many PHPs assist healthcare professionals in addition to physicians, such as dentists, nurses, veterinarians, and/or pharmacists. The use of the Guidelines for other professionals is left to the discretion of the individual PHP.


FSPHP Policies                                     

FSPHP Other Policy

FSPHP Code of Ethical Conduct

Wed, 01/13/2021

This is an FSPHP policy on the Code of Ethical Conduct, adopted in 2000, amended in 2012 and updated in 2021. 



FSPHP Public Policy

FSPHP Public Policy Statement: Physician Illness Vs. Impairment

Wed, 09/23/2015

This is an FSPHP Public Policy Statement on Physician Illness vs. Impairment adopted on July 30, 2008.



FSPHP Position Statements

September 2015

Confidentiality: FSPHP supports confidential and compassionate care for all people, including physicians with addictive, psychiatric or other illnesses. FSPHP advocates for the privacy and confidentiality of a physician’s health and treatment history, including participation in a Physician Health Program (PHP). When confidentiality is endorsed by PHPs and Regulatory Agencies, physicians are more likely to seek timely treatment and utilize PHP services, which will reduce the likelihood of illness progression to functional impairment.

Impairment: FSPHP recognizes that addiction, psychiatric disorders and other medical conditions can be potentially impairing, however, “impairment” is a functional classification. Professionals diagnosed with these conditions may or may not demonstrate “impairment.” See detailed Physician Illness vs. Impairment Position Statement.

Discrimination based on illness: FSPHP recognizes that restriction of medical licensure or membership exclusion from professional organizations should be based on just cause only, not solely the presence of a particular diagnosis. FSPHP strongly opposes discrimination of physicians during licensing, credentialing, or at any time, based on a history of addictive, psychiatric, or other illness.

Appropriate evaluation and treatment: FSPHP supports evaluation and treatment of physicians suffering from addictive, psychiatric or other potentially impairing conditions when approved by the State Physician Health Program. Appropriate evaluation and treatment of these physicians will ultimately protect the patient and restore the health of the provider.


FSPHP Statement on Sexual Misconduct in the Medical Profession

May 2019
Position Statement
FSPHP Statement on Sexual Misconduct in the Medical Profession and references has been developed by the FSPHP Public Policy Committee and approved by the FSPHP Board of Directors in May 2019.


FSPHP Statement on Racism, Discrimination and Health Equity

July 2020

In July 2020, the FSPHP Board of Directors issued this statement reaffirming its value statement on equality that opposes discrimination against physicians and the medical community. Here, the FSPHP commits to advocate against discrimination in all its forms, within and outside the organization.  FSPHP will seek opportunities to partner with other national health organizations to demand racial justice and humane treatment for all individuals regardless of age, education, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or financial status.