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Evidence suggests that there is an inverse relationship between the number of years that a physician has
been in practice and the quality of care that the physician provides. LCHS is a physical and mental health
screening intended for late career physicians who have reached a certain age (generally 70 and older), but
otherwise have no known impairment or competency problems. LCHS is designed to detect the presence of any
physical or mental health problems affecting a physician’s ability to practice. If concerns are identified,
further evaluation will be recommended. LCHS is not a diagnostic evaluation nor is it a fitness for duty evaluation.
It is not intended to be used in “for cause” assessments of physicians who are suspected of having impairment.
Hospitals or medical groups that have concerns about an individual physician’s fitness
to practice should consult with our Fitness for Duty Program’s Administrative Director, Patricia Smith, M.P.H., firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the assessment, a final report will be sent to the referring group that outlines whether the physician falls
into one of the following two categories and what recommendations exist:
Results either indicate that no presence of illness exists that interferes
with the physician’s ability to safely perform the duties of his or her job or that presence of illness exists but
currently does not interfere with the physician’s ability to safely perform the duties of his or her job. Re-evaluation
may be recommended depending on the prognosis of present illness(es).
Results indicate a possible impairment exists due to a physical or mental health problem.
Any hospital or medical group that would like to ensure the ongoing health and fitness to practice of its late career
practitioners would benefit from LCHS. Any hospital or medical group that has enacted a policy to screen late career practitioners would benefit from LCHS.
The PACE Program was originally founded in 1996 to provide clinical competency evaluations of and remedial education to physicians
identified as having performance concerns. The physical and mental health screening components of our competency evaluation have helped detect
undiagnosed health problems in dozens of physicians that were potentially impaired in their ability to practice safely. This in turn led to the
creation of the PACE Fitness for Duty Evaluation (FFDE) in July 2011, which evaluates physicians suspected of impairment due to physical,
cognitive or mental health problems. The PACE Program has been at the forefront of the national conversation about how to perform an age-based
screening assessment for physicians.