Being a physician can be a mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing job. The Iowa Physician Health Program (IPHP) provides a safe place for physicians to get the assistance and support they need for mental health conditions, physical health conditions, and substance use disorders that could impact their ability to safely practice medicine.
The Iowa Board of Medicine created the IPHP in 1996. The Board recognizes physicians are not immune to health conditions and supports physicians seeking help before their condition impairs their ability to practice medicine.
When you self-report and seek help from us, your situation and any assessments or treatments received are completely confidential, allowing you to get the help you need. We’ll work with you to address your health issues by coordinating with providers to determine what services are needed to ensure you’re safe to practice medicine.
Confidentiality and Our Program
The Iowa Physician Health Program (IPHP) is a confidential monitoring program within the Iowa Board of Medicine. It is designed to protect the public by supporting and monitoring physicians whose health conditions may impact their ability to practice medicine safely. The IPHP promotes early intervention, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring for physicians with potential impairments caused by a mental health condition, substance use disorder or physical health condition.
We recognize there is a stigma which may make it difficult for individuals to seek appropriate evaluation and treatment. Confidential monitoring increases the likelihood that physicians will seek help before their condition impairs their ability to practice medicine.
Our mission is to support physicians by providing confidential, compassionate assistance and monitoring to those faced with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, or physical health issues that could impact their ability to practice medicine safely.
A physician’s participation in the IPHP is confidential to the public. Participant information is also confidential to the Iowa Board of Medicine, except in limited situations where communication is necessary. According to Iowa Administrative Code 653-14.9, the following situations authorize the IPHP to provide information to the Board or appropriate board staff:
- A participant’s medical practice poses a significant risk to the public.
- The participant is not compliant with their IPHP contract and is referred by the IPHP to the Board.
- The participant is under investigation by the Board and knowing if the participant is compliant with the program would be beneficial to the investigative process.
Physicians who suspect they are at risk of being unable to practice medicine safely due to a health condition have the right and obligation to ask for help when they need it. By failing to do so, they put both themselves and their patients at risk. By self-reporting, the physician may avoid possible investigation if the board receives a complaint from a colleague, patient, hospital administrator, concerned family member, etc. It is a safe bet that by the time a physician is ready to address their condition, others are also concerned about their wellbeing.
When you self-report, you are proactively seeking help before your condition negatively affects your ability to practice safely.
Ready to self-report?
Rules and Policies
The Administrative Code related to the IPHP is in Chapter 653, which are the rules for the Iowa Board of Medicine. Rules for the IPHP can be found in Chapter 14. Use the link below to navigate directly to the Iowa Legislature Administrative Code site. Scroll down about two-thirds of the way to the “Medicine Board  in the list or search for it by holding ctrl + f and searching for “Medicine Board,” which will pull you down to the Medicine Board titles in the list. Click on the chapter link for Chapter 14 to read the code.
- Self-Report Form
- Quarterly Report Form - Mental Health
- Quarterly Report Form - Substance Use & Dual Diagnosis
- Quarterly Report Form - Physical Condition - Employed
- Quarterly Report Form - Physical Condition - Not Employed
- Quarterly Report Form - Interstate Monitoring (use when Iowa is not the primary monitor)
For Treatment Providers & Monitors
- Quarterly Report Form - As a Monitoring Physician
- Quarterly Report Form - As a Monitoring Healthcare Provider
- Quarterly Report Form - As an Aftercare Provider
- Quarterly Report Form - As a Therapist
- Quarterly Report Form - As a Worksite Monitor
- Quarterly Report Form - As a Worksite Monitor - Locum Tenens
About the Iowa Physician Health Committee
The Iowa Physician Health Committee (IPHC) is responsible for assisting and monitoring the recovery, rehabilitation, or maintenance of licensees who self-report impairments or are referred by the Board pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code 653—14.11(272C). As necessary, the IPHC notifies the Board in the event of noncompliance with contract provisions. The IPHC is both an advocate for licensees’ health and a means to protect the health and safety of the public. This committee also provides input on policy and procedures for the IPHP.
Iowa Administrative Code section 653, chapter 14 defines the composition of the committee and its purpose. The IPHC is required to have members with the following qualifications:
- Physician who has remained free of addiction for no less than two years following successful completion of a board-approved recovery program, a board-ordered probation for alcohol or drug abuse, dependency, or addiction, or an IPHC contract;
- Practitioner with expertise in the area of substance abuse and addiction treatment;
- Public member;
- Medical director of the Iowa Board of Medicine or the executive director.
Committee members are appointed by the Iowa Board of Medicine and serve three-year terms. Members can be appointed to a maximum of three terms.
The IPHC meets in-person four times a year. Meetings are held at the Iowa Board of Medicine, 400 SW Eighth St, Des Moines, IA 50309.
- February 23
- May 11
- August 24
- November 9
- February 22
- May 9
- August 8
- November 7