FAQs

Who does the NDPHP serve?

The NDPHP serves physicians and physician assistants licensed through the North Dakota Board of Medicine, and medical students enrolled at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

What is impairment?

Impairment is defined as the condition of being unable to perform one’s professional duties and responsibilities in a reasonable manner, consistent with professional standards. Cognitive function, judgment, reaction time, and the ability to handle stress are increasingly affected. As impairment progresses, the potential for compromised patient care increases. Examples of impairment are: Dependence or use of mind-altering substances Distorted thought processes from mental illness or physical condition Disruptive social tendencies

I’m not “impaired.” Why should I enter into a Monitoring Agreement?

A Monitoring Agreement does not require that you have been impaired. In fact, our goal is to prevent impairment from occurring. In the past, problems would not be identified until there were significant negative consequences such as lawsuits, loss of licensure or loss of employment. The medical community has been more proactive recognizing the need to help our providers address concerns before it affects their care.

Who can refer to the NDPHP?

Anyone who has concerns about a health care provider's mental health or substance use can refer to the NDPHP.

Can the NDPHP take anonymous referrals?

A person making a referral is required to provide his or her name and contact information. However, we will not share this information unless given consent.

If I enroll with the NDPHP, will the ND Board of Medicine be informed of my participation?

As long as there is compliance with the Monitoring Agreement, the NDPHP will only report an individual who is in violation of their Monitoring Agreement or a violation of the Medical Practice Act.

Will participation with the NDPHP be confidential?

Voluntary participation is kept confidential as long as there is not a threat to patient safety, a violation of the Medical Practice Act or a violation to the Monitoring Agreement.

What is the cost?

Participants are responsible for all assessment and monitoring fees including a yearly administrative fee. However, insurance may cover services in some circumstances such as outpatient or residential substance use treatment.

Can participants still practice medicine?

Participants may be required to refrain from practice during evaluation and treatment. The approval for a return to practice is based on the recommendations from treatment provider(s).

Why does my employer need to know I am involved with the NDPHP?

We rely on your monitoring physician in your place of employment to let us know how you are doing every quarter through a brief behavioral checklist and notifying us if concerns arise.

When should a provider be referred to the NDPHP?

The NDPHP should be notified if there are concerns about potential impairment.

Am I eligible for the NDPHP if I am not working in my profession?

Any provider with an active North Dakota medical license, or who is in the process of applying for licensure, or who is an active student at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Science, is eligible to enroll with the NDPHP.