Physician Well Being

The purpose of the Physician Well Being Committee (PWBC) is to support the well being of medical staff and house staff members consistent with the obligation of the Medical Staff to protect patients, ensure the quality of patient care, and improve Medical Staff functioning. 

The committee strives to achieve this purpose through the facilitation of treatment for, prevention of, and intervention in physician impairment or potential impairment caused by chemical dependency or behavioral problems.

If you believe a colleague of yours may be impaired, please e-mail or contact the Physician Well Being Committee administrator at (415) 885-7268, option 5.


Policy and procedures have been developed and implemented to confidentially manage physician well-being matters which may affect patient care delivery and for which assistance to the physician member may be appropriate and necessary. The PWBC is an advisory body to the Executive Medical Board, and its activities are strictly confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege, HIPAA, and other applicable protections. 


The PWBC is committed to a non-punitive process that encompasses the following elements:

  • The education of physicians and hospital staff regarding recognition of potential impairment on the part of its members.
  • A confidential environment for self-referral to the PWBC by a physician, as well as referral to the committee of concerns regarding physician colleagues by other organization staff.
  • Evaluation of the credibility of a complaint, allegation, or concern.
  • Facilitation of referral of the affected physician to the appropriate professional internal and external resources for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of the condition or concern.
  • Maintenance of confidentiality of the physician, except under the following circumstances
    • as limited by law or ethical obligation
    • when the health and safety of a patient is threatened; or
    • as may be necessary to obtain information to evaluate the credibility of a third-party complaint, allegation, or concern which is brought to the committee
  • Monitoring the affected physician and the safety of patients until the rehabilitation or any required monitoring process is complete and periodically thereafter if required.
  • Reporting to the President of the Medical Staff instances in which a physician is providing unsafe patient care.


The PWBC is comprised of representatives from at least the following areas: Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, Legal Affairs (ex officio), Departments of Psychiatry and Anesthesia, and a Housestaff representative.