Gay Doctor coerced by Physician Health Program (PHP) into mandated 12-step treatment and monitoring for sex addiction: The slippery slope begins

Source: Gay Doctor coerced by Physician Health Program (PHP) into mandated 12-step treatment and monitoring for sex addiction: The slippery slope begins


State Physician Health Programs -coercion, control and abuse.

This anecdote concerning  a gay doctor’s revelation he liked his non monogamous lifestyle leading  to a forced acceptance of a “sex addiction”  diagnosis, mandatory inpatient treatment and indoctrination into 12-step recovery was just posted on the physician social network SERMO.    If the pattern looks familiar it is.

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Physician Health Programs (PHPs) are non-profit NGOs that exist in every state ostensibly to help impaired doctors and protect the public from harm.  PHPs have no regulation or oversight and have essentially removed all accountability. Under the ruse of protecting a doctors anonymity and providing confidentiality they have built barriers of opacity.  Most doctors are unaware how they work unless they become involved with them and they are not on the radar of the public at large–they need to be.

Organized under the Federation of State Physician Health Programs, (FSPHP),  state medical boards have abdicated their responsibility and consider them expert authority on all things related to physician health–a logical fallacy that has placed illegitimate and irrational authority in professional control of medicine once again proving that knowledge isn’t power and ignorance often reigns.

PHPs encourage confidential referrals for “warning signs” such as those on the list below from the Massachusetts PHP, PHS, Inc. and guarantee  the reporters anonymity.  All semblance of due process has been removed.  Medical boards have given state PHPS complete and absolute managerial control over  assessment,  treatment and monitoring.  PHPs are not healthcare providers but monitoring agencies.  If a PHP recommends an “assessment” of a reported doctor there is no choice in the matter.   No allowances for a second opinion,  outside support or appeal exist.Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 7.33.17 AM

This doctor was apparently reported to his state PHP because a patient thought she smelled alcohol on his breath.  As it turned out, the accusation was bogus but by being honest and forthcoming about his sexual orientation in the interview the PHP mandated an “assessment.” for unrelated issues.  A not uncommon scenario as reports of behavioral issues often end up with hair tests for alcohol and other substances resulting in mandated assessments for “substance use disorder” followed by a five-year monitoring contract with the PHP and weekly urine tests.

The PHP provides  a list  of three or four facilities drawn from the same pool of “PHP-approved” assessment and treatment centers. However, an audit of the N.C. PHP found no written objective criteria or quantitative measurements existed on how these assessment and treatment centers are “approved” by the PHP.  The common denominator seems to be that these facilities are  (1) 12-step ASAM directed, and (2) willing to “tailor” an assessment to support a predetermined diagnosis. It is, in fact, a rigged game.  Unfortunately the medical boards have been duped into mandating assessments at these centers under threat of loss of medical license and specifically exclude non “PHP-approved” assessments.

This scaffold  is also the unspoken and hushed major contributor to physician suicide—It is the elephant in the room no one speaks of out of fear of being targeted.    Doctors who really need help for mental health, substance abuse or other issues are afraid to get it for fear of being reported to the PHP.  Those already monitored are subject to all sorts of psychological, financial and emotional abuse.

The Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP)  has a relationship with Pine Grove.  It is one of the “PHP-approved” facilities and two of their staff, Phillip Hemphill, PhD and James C. “Jes” Montgomery, MD are are listed as Program Faculty at the FSPHP annual educational conference and business meeting on April 24-27, 2015 in Fort Worth Texas.


Political Abuse of Psychiatry

Political abuse of psychiatry is the “misuse of psychiatric diagnosis, detention and treatment for the purposes of obstructing the fundamental human rights of certain groups and individuals in a society.  The coercive use of psychiatry represents a violation of basic human rights in all Cultures.Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 1.29.38 PM

What has occurred in the medical profession is no different from China or the Soviet Union under totalitarian rule where dissent is disapproved, often punished, and those perceived as threats to the existing system can be effectively “neutralized with trumped up psychiatric illness” and by this stigmatization reputations were ruined, power was diminished, and voices were hushed.

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Political abuse of psychiatry involves the deliberate action of diagnosing someone with a mental condition they do not have as a means of repression or control and if you do not believe it is occurring right here today then take a look here and here to see how they are colluding with commercial drug testing companies to engage in forensic fraud and the assessment and the treatment centers to fabricate data to support non-existent diagnoses.

“Sex Addiction” used as a tool to Discriminate

There has been a lot of “chatter” in PHP circles concerning “sex addiction” and I knew they had been aligning themselves and setting up specialized programs at certain facilities.  It seemed unusual as many of the key players who erected and run this scaffold have themselves been involved in sexual misconduct.   Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 5.22.34 PM


One of the architects of the current system, Dr. Robert Walzer, M.D., J.D. who was instrumental in tinkering with administrative and medical practice laws to remove the due process and appeal rights of doctors surrendered his license in 2001 due to inappropriate sexual relationships with patients.  He was the co-author of the current physician health program paradigm.

Dr. Margaret bean-Byog, M.D, Chairman of the credentialing 7109298-Mcommittee for the first certification exam and ASAM president surrendered her medical license after being accused  of sexually abusing one of her patients, a Harvard medical student who subsequently died by suicide.

Somehow, I don't think this is quite what they had in mind!And the FSPHP seems to treat doctors involved in sexually related misconduct in a favorable light.  Take for instance, Dr. James Peak, M.D., a child psychiatrist who was sent to prison on a federal child pornography conviction taken under the wing of the Montana PHP.  After “proving” he only ‘”looked” at pornography of young boys but never abused any using a polygraph “lie-detector” test his license was reinstated in no time at all.  His treatment includes going to one AA meeting and one 12-step sex addict meeting per week.  My guess is they need more staff at the PHP or one of the assessment centers.

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I had been wondering what the motivation was behind this focus on “sex addiction” and my suspicions seem to be correct.

I have since heard of a second case of a gay doctor being forced into his state Physician Health Program (PHP) in Alabama.

Once under the control of the PHP most doctors are afraid to come forward because of the “swift and certain” consequences imposed on them.  All they have to do is say the doctor was “noncompliant” to the medical board and it is over.  They lose their license and there is not a thing they can do about. it.  I have heard from doctors in multiple states going to law enforcement,  the Attorney General,  the media and the ACLU only to have the door slammed in their faces. Myself included.    .

The coercion, control, ethics, and civil and human rights violations remain hidden.  The crimes remain hidden. So too will this.

It appears the FSPHP is following the same pattern they have with the “impaired” and “disruptive” physicians–to discriminate.    The targeting of gay, lesbian or transgender doctors for what they do in their private lives is predictable.  It is an inevitable part of this well oiled slope of coercion, control, obedience and abuse.

The import of this can not be overestimated.


Position Statement on Political Abuse of Psychiatry. Paper presented at: Global Initiative on Psychiatry2005.Birley JL.

Political abuse of psychiatry. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. Supplementum. 2000;399:13-15.


12 thoughts on “Gay Doctor coerced by Physician Health Program (PHP) into mandated 12-step treatment and monitoring for sex addiction: The slippery slope begins

  1. The PHP is the OUT OF CONTROL ENTITY in this case, not the MD’s sexual orientation! The “PHP” needs to be confronted, stalked, and SUED OUT OF EXISTENCE! Only until that source is called to account, will the MD have a chance at “recovery” if indeed he needs it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly but most doctors are afraid to speak out and the system is plugged with lawyers who represent doctors but only within the boundaries of the PHP -/ it’s an extraction racket cash only no insurance


      • And what is the source that “sets up” the PHP? The Medical Board? The state legislature? A local court?
        A few choice lawsuits leveled AGAINST a PHP, will hopefully get it abolished, or at least “reformed”! And these things have to be PAID, as well??


        • They are non-profit NGOs originally funded by medical societies and staffed by honest and decent volunteer doctors – they are EAPs but without unions and set up with no regulation or oversight and sitting ducks for subversion by outside interests. Rogue ASAM doctor’s (most with checkered pasts-many felons who got their licenses back by claiming salvation joined the state PHPs got rid of the good guys and set up an extortion racket with drug labs and inpatient assessment centers. It’s actually really simple and obvious once seen.


        • An “ASAM” MD is NO MD! ASAM thinks that VOTING addiction into the “disease” category, qualifies as medical research! A good lawsuit against it would put it out of business I think!


        • Yes – The Drug Czar cut was good news – DuPont wanted to increase the funding. They caused the opioid epidemic by cutting off the hydrocodone supply and putting fear in prescribing -the math on this propaganda is idiotic

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Would that it were this simple, AY. The PHPs are typically authorized by state law or regulation relating to licensure by Medical Licensure Boards. MLBs could and should monitor and control PHPs, but the existence and operations of PHPs relieve MLBs of a great deal of tedious work in areas they would rather not deal with (sorting out and dealing with addiction, mental illness, etc). Furthermore, MLBs are bound by due process protections, something PHPs proudly assert they can avoid (see “PHPs can respond rapidly” in the sidebar above, taken I believe from a textbook written in part to convince MLBs of the utility of PHPs.) This is often done under the ruse that what PHPs are providing is “peer review”, despite the fact that they follow none of the state or federal protections mandated for protection of providers undergoing peer review.

    In order to sue a PHP you must have standing, e.g. be someone who has been damaged by the PHP. This would need to be be a physician who has been a client of the PHP…someone who has been labeled, or who actually has, a substance use or other problem. This diagnosis stacks the deck against the complainant because the PHP will invariably allege to a court that no one with (whatever diagnosis has been levied) can be trusted.

    Furthermore, most states grant some kind of statutory immunity (barring lawsuits) to their MLBs and by extension PHPs, based on the concept that all such bodies are part of a self regulatory mechanism by the profession itself, and therefore should not be deterred by lawsuits from their noble goal of “protection of the public from bad doctors”.

    This, of course IS a laudable goal if it weren’t for the fact that commercial interests such as the exclusive “PHP approved evaluation and treatment facilities”, which are apparently willing to tailor a diagnosis to justify exorbitantly expensive inpatient treatment at the very facility that has made the diagnosis, the overly sensitive Laboratory Derived Tests (LDT’s) that are being used to screen for and diagnose substance use despite high false positive results, and the labs that do the mandatory weekly (or more often) five year monitoring, have made pursuit of this ostensible objective a highly profitable endeavor. Many of these exclusive “PHP approved” facilities were founded by, or are still run by the same recovered docs who started the ASAM and FSPHP, and they fund lavish retreats and conferences and provide other emoluments to PHPs to continue to induce them to refer clients with deep pockets (e.g. health professionals). Several of the suspect LD tests were even developed by the same recovering docs (one of whom is a convicted drug felon, by the way) who continue to profit from them.

    So it is a well coordinated, self perpetuating and highly profitable industry, which has been adopted by governmental or quasi governmental regulatory agencies (some of which agencies are still run by those who profit from it) and which is statutorily protected in many jurisdictions from any control by private individuals (via the court system) who have been harmed by it.

    And, as this article illustrates, physicians who stumble into the system either by false accusation by a patient, a competitor, or an embittered spouse, or who willingly refer themselves for a problem such as burnout, relationship issues, etc, which may have absolutely no nexus with substance use, may find themselves down a rabbit hole with no way out.


    • Great summary Louise – In addition to the coerced lab testing, assessments and “treatment” at a dozen or so hand picked facilities involved in the racket so too is choice in legal representation by default. There are 3-4 attorneys in each state representing all of these doctors. Those outside the system are like a deer in headlights and have no idea of the administrative labyrinth involved so the system has been glutted with a small number of attorneys handling these cases. They will not address the misconduct or fraud as if they do that will be the last time they get a referral from the PHP and an end to the 20-40k retainers and guaranteed 5-years of bonus money. I’m sure they rationalize this somehow. I believe Bryan Bertram has his eyes on this lucrative career choice


    • Does “OUTING” the pathetic CONFLICTS OF INTEREST that these PHP members engage in (e.g. requiring MD’s to attend 12 Step groups, WHILE BEING IN ONE THEMSELVES!) sound like a possibility? How about the violation of an MD’s FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT to be FREE OF RELIGION (that 12 Step groups are OVERWHELMINGLY a part of!)? These things CAN be taken down, if the right person COERCED INTO ONE, is willing to front them off, and sue them accordingly. The same way people with homes in an HOA can SUE THOSE micro-managing, discriminatory entities!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Most attorneys who work in the niche field of representing physicians in professional discipline cases are “fixers” rather than litigators. The widespread fear these erratic or Draconian disciplinary systems engender among physicians drives much more business to them than would principled and aggressive defense of the constitutional rights of these doctors. Here is an important legal concept: PHP’s are almost always configured in state statutes as “sole source contractors”. These entities meet ALL the legal tests for being “state actors” and therefore have a DIRECT obligation to provide physicians with due process. If a private entity (and a de facto state actor) injures a physician by dint of deprivation of constitutional protections, that physician has legal standing to pursue a claim for damages in state or Federal court under 42 USC 1983.


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