APA RESOURCE DOCUMENT
Resource Document on Physician Health Programs in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Physicians
In 1974, the American Medical Association (AMA) acknowledged physician impairment from alcoholism and drug dependence occurs, and recognized alcoholism and addiction as illnesses. Physician illness and impairment exist on a continuum with illness typically predating impairment, often by many years. This is a critically important distinction. Illness is the existence of a disease. Impairment is a functional classification and implies the inability of the person affected by disease to perform specific activities.