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 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 shall be 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. PWBC operates as a peer review committee and its activities and proceedings are protected under California evidence code 1156, et seq. 


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

  • The education of physician 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.