Excerpt From Medical Ethics: Real-World Application By Afshin Nasser

Impaired Physician

Doctors also have an obligation to report impaired physicians to authorities for treatment. A Physician must report another Physician when it is believed that the conduct of his/her colleague places patients at risk or is considered unprofessional or unethical.

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Doctors also have an obligation to report impaired physicians to authorities for treatment.

A Physician must report another Physician when it is believed that the conduct of his/her colleague places patients at risk or is considered unprofessional or unethical.

Reportable categories include suffering from a physical, cognitive, mental, or emotional condition that is negatively impacting the work of the Physician and the work environment, and sexually inappropriate advances, a sexual relationship with a patient, or any sexual boundary violations. An impaired physician should be treated with equal dignity and respect offered to any patient.

Ultimately, if a complaint is made from a patient to another Physician about sexual boundary violation, a physician must guide the patient on how to file a complaint, even if they wish to remain anonymous

Q32 Your 68-year-old colleague is noted to be forgetful with staff names, patient’s names and frequently misses hospital meetings. You’re concerned about your colleague’s cognitive status. What would be the next best step?

A-offer to evaluate the colleague in confidence
B-approach the colleague and help him plan for confidential evaluation
C-continue to monitor the colleague a while longer
D-report the colleague to the medical board anonymous

Q33 A physician is noted to yell at a floor nurse and leaving the floor. Recently, he has been observed engaging in uncharacteristic behavior. During a recent pharma educational dinner, he was drinking heavily and was unruly at times. His appearance also has been disheveled.
Which is the best course of action for a colleague?A- Interview the physician’s staff about his recent behavior
B- Inquiry from other physicians about similar conductC- Question the nurse about the physician’s outburstD- Notify the chief of medicine

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State Medical Boards

The medical board’s duty is to protect the public, not the physician. State medical boards today focus on licensed physicians who violate professional ethics, and their mandate has significantly evolved to focus on disciplining physicians.

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Boundary Violation

Boundaries create a therapeutic distance between physician and patient and clarify their respective roles and expectations. Boundaries define limits of the therapeutic relationship.

Read More »

Medical Ethics: Real-World Application By Afshin Nasser

You may have acquired this book as a result of conflicts with peers, administrators, patients, or State Medical Boards, where the outcomes of those interactions have left you wondering, “…what if I had done things differently?”

In that case, I hope that this book answers some of your questions and guides you with regards to any future quandaries you may encounter.


If you are a healthcare worker seeking to understand the subject of medical ethics, then I hope this book helps you acquire the clarity you seek.
If you are an individual simply curious about medical ethics, then I raise my hat to you for your pursuit of knowledge.