Physician Health and Addiction Program

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The MSDC Physician Health Program is a private, confidential, non-disciplinary program that works to advocate for the health and well-being of all physicians in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area and to safeguard the public.

The Program is HIPAA compliant and protects the confidentiality of participant records as set forth under DC and Federal law. The program is administered by the Medical Society of DC and is separate from the DC Board of Medicine. Read more in the MSDC PHP brochure on this page.

For a confidential consultation for your or a colleague that may benefit from our help, please call (202) 466-1800 x102 or email us.  This is not an emergency service; for emergencies please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.


The PHP can help hospitals meet Joint Commission requirements by providing information on physician impairment at medical staff meetings or grand rounds. An overview of the services or a CME lecture on physician impairment may be scheduled by contacting Robert Hay Jr. by email.

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News Stories About Physician Addiction and Health Programs


The Granite Anniversary of Doctors’ Day Symbolizes Physician Strength and Brilliance

Mar 30, 2023, 08:47 AM by MSDC Staff
MSDC President Dr. Susanne Bathgate has a special message for the DC physician community and our patients.

Today is the 90th anniversary of National Doctors Day, an annual observance to thank doctors for the life-saving contributions they make to public health. Granite, the stone that commemorates a 90th anniversary, is fitting for doctors today and every day; they are both strong enough to bear significant weight and display brilliance when under pressure. The Medical Society is inspired by the strength and brilliance of District doctors today, as it has been every day since its founding in 1817.

Doctors' Day was first conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles Almond, as a day to honor and give thanks to physicians. It took place on March 30, 1933, coinciding with the anniversary of the first administration of anesthesia by US physician Dr. Crawford Long. For the past 90 years it has served as an annual reminder of the role that physicians play in our lives and society at large.

Doctors are at the forefront of many issues of national debate. Unfortunately, delivering life-saving care while navigating hot button issues, has taken a toll on physician wellbeing, making Doctors’ Day more important than ever. Physicians face increasing moral injury and administrative overload, and too many are leaving the workforce, putting additional pressure on those who remain. Regrettably, physicians die by suicide at twice the rate of the general population, according to the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation. A message of appreciation can have a strong positive impact on their wellbeing. 

MSDC is inspired by District physicians, especially our physician leaders, who have persevered throughout the pandemic and many other healthcare crises. MSDC President Susanne Bathgate, MD, shared her reflections on this day of thanksgiving:

To my DC physician colleagues, thank you for all that you do today and throughout the year. I am humbled to work in the District of Columbia amongst a community of physicians who work so tirelessly and care so deeply about the health and wellbeing of the residents of our region. In recognition of this Doctors’ Day, please remember to take good care of yourself as well as your patients.


Here are several ways to recognize physicians on Doctors Day and throughout the year:

  • Give a doctor a red carnation, the official symbol of Doctors’ Day.
  • Thank a medical doctor. Not just your own, but any doctor you meet or know.
  • Post a message of thanks on social media. Use the hashtag #NationalDoctorsDay
  • Make the feeling of thanks last beyond today. Thank your doctor every time you visit.
  • Remember that behind the strong, brilliant facade, doctors may be at risk. Visit for wellbeing support.
  • Recognize your role in good health. Maintain regular health appointments and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.