Time, June 20, 2014
An upcoming ballot initiative on malpractice caps in California includes a provision that would require physicians to be drug- and alcohol-tested prior to practicing at any hospital, and require other health care practitioners to report any suspected abusers. This is packaged with other measures that appear punitive towards all physicians. But the drug-testing provision deserves scrutiny because, while drug testing is widespread in American business, and required of nurses and many medical workers, private doctors have not been routinely tested. I'd like to tell you substance abuse isn't a problem for doctors, but unfortunately, I've seen firsthand that there are physicians who practice while they are under the influence.