Residency

Ask the expert: How should residency programs answer questions on verification forms about a resident's health status?

Residency Program Insider, June 30, 2009

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Hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission must confirm that an applicant doesn’t have any health issues affecting his or her ability to safely perform privileges; this includes mental health conditions, physical impairments, and substance abuse problems.

Joint Commission standards list program directors as a source for confirming a practitioner’s health status. When faced with a question about a former resident’s health, the program must disclose any known problems, but it does not need to provide every detail. Instead, simply answer that there is a concern regarding the applicant’s health status as it relates to the privileges requested. If the requesting entity wants more information, tell the individual to get further details from the applicant.

When indicating an absence of problems, consider using the phrase “to my knowledge, there are no health problems,” as the program may not have known about a physician’s problems, or issues could surface after the physician completed training.

Today’s question and answer are from The Complete Residency Program Management Guide, by Ruth H. Nawotniak, MS, C-TAGME.



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