Warning! This post is very old and may contain information or opinions that are no longer valid or embarrassing.
Substance abuse among health professionals is serious. An impaired physician may harm the lives of her patients or may lead to their own death as in the case of Dr. Karim Aly. Compared to the general public, physicians have access to very serious medications. More so in certain specialties like anesthesiology.
In the US, 15% of physicians will at one point during their professional lives be impaired. Educating doctors during their undergraduate years and establishing programs to help identify and treat doctors without harming their career is important. Physicians may respond better to treatment programs than the general public.