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IMP-002: Reporting Impaired, Incompetent or Unethical Behavior

Reporting Impaired, Incompetent or Unethical Behavior: The Wisconsin Medical Society believes it is imperative that physicians continue their long history of assisting authorities by reporting impaired, incompetent and unethical behavior by a colleague. Physicians should make such reports to the appropriate entity or entities, which may be one or more of the following: Medical Examining Board, law enforcement authorities, hospital peer review committees, management staff of the facility or organization.

While such reporting is important, it is also important to keep in mind that allegations are very different from findings of fact.

Physicians should support:

  • Observation of the principles of due process during disciplinary hearings or other procedures involving physician participants at all levels.
  • Maintaining the confidentiality of the reporting physician, to the extent possible within the constraints of the law, by entities engaged in review of physician behavior.
  • Laws that provide immunity to those who report impaired, incompetent or unethical conduct.

The medical profession should make known its commitment to protect the public from incompetent, impaired or unethical physicians by better communicating its efforts and initiatives at maintaining high ethical standards and quality assurance. (HOD, 0419)