As a patient in need, we expect our doctors to help us through difficult times. We need our doctors to examine our illness, give a proper diagnosis, and help us get back to health as soon as possible. We hold doctors to a certain standard and expect them to fulfill a certain role. But, when you suspect that your doctor is not doing his job, what are you supposed to do about it? Impaired physicians are a leading cause of medical malpractice, and sometimes it is easy to diagnose. So, what are some common signs of impaired physicians? And how do you ensure that you don’t fall victim to their poor judgment?


Keep in mind that this issue can present itself for both patients, and also higher-ups who have a team to manage. After all, as chief of staff, you have an image to maintain and patients to keep safe. So, we’re going to help you identify impaired physicians, for the sake of yourself, or your hospital…


  • Frequent absence, unexplained tardiness, or disappearance
  • Irrational irritability
  • Avoiding superiors
  • Rapid, or slurred, speech
  • Watery or red eyes, runny nose, and dilated pupils
  • A lack of care/ careless mistakes

While these are a few of the signs, every person reacts to substances in different ways. In short, impaired physicians can appear a number of ways. You know when something is off, and if you have a feeling that something is off— address it.

When you maintain a hospital, you likely will become close to your subordinates— and identify with them, and the difficulties of their job. For this reason, and an ability to hide behind your fatigue— substance abuse can often go unreported, or unrecognized for long periods of time. However, unrecognized impaired physicians can cause serious damage to patients.


If you find that you are the victim of an impaired physician— it might be time to seek out a medical malpractice attorney to review your case. If your quality of life has been impaired, it should not be your responsibility to pay for repairing that damage. Therefore, take the details of your case to someone who can help make sense of your best option… We wish you luck in this endeavor and extend our condolences for this difficult time.