The Program for Distressed Physicians – CME Course Overview


The vision originally developed by the Center for Professional Health faculty at Vanderbilt and adopted for this course is for physicians with disruptive behavior to have an opportunity to learn new behavioral skills to enable them to function in an increasingly complex medical environment, document specific behavioral changes and maintain their position and privileges in their practice or hospital staff.



The approach is to provide distressed physicians with a safe, confidential environment where they can learn with their peers about the origins and consequences of their actions and develop new skill sets. The educational modality is guided small group interaction with the opportunity for exchange, feedback, and practice. The group serves as a “learning lab” providing learners the opportunity to “try-out” their newly developing skills.

Learning Objectives:

Upon the completion of the program, the participant intends to incorporate the following into their practice of medicine:

1. Utilize the core competency skills in the areas of Professionalism and Interpersonal and Communication while interacting with members of medical teams.

2. Identify and remove disruptive behavior from the medical delivery system to improve patient outcome.

3. Diagnose disruptive behavior symptoms when present in the medical delivery environment.

4. Improve patient safety by reducing the occurrence of disruptive incidents in the delivery environment.

5. Identify and mitigate personal risk factors for disruptive behavior to improve personal leadership and inter- professional functioning and patient care.

6. Utilize behaviors and communication techniques that promote professionalism and good interpersonal and communication skills facilitating delivery of patient care.

7. Utilize appropriate boundaries in communications with staff, colleagues, and patients maximizing safety and patient outcomes.

8. Identify and utilize relapse prevention strategies to minimize the reoccurrence of poor interprofessional communication.

Course Agenda :

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Faculty :

Course Director:Betsy White Williams, PhD MPH  Clinical Director Professional Renewal Center  Assistant Professor Department of Behavioral Science Rush University Medical Center

Course Faculty

Michael V. Williams, PhD Principal, Wales Behavioral Assessment Director of Research Professional Renewal Center

Betsy White Williams, PhD MPH  Clinical Director Professional Renewal Center

Assistant Professor Department of Behavioral Science Rush University Medical Center



Distressed Physician Course Dates:

(All dates are accompanied by three mandatory follow-up dates, TBA)


The 2017 Course dates*:

November 3-5, 2017

December 8-10, 2017

*dates subject to change



Aloft O'Hare

9700 Balmoral Avenue  Rosemont, IL 60018

(847) 671-4444



Application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending.



To register for the Program for Distressed Physicians please fill out the linked form by clicking the icon and following directions

Course Requirements that must be completed prior to attendance:

• A telephone interview with Dr. Williams is required prior to registering for the course. Please call 785-842-9772 and mention the Distressed Physician course to schedule an interview.

• An assessment may be required to rule-out certain conditions such as active drug and alcohol addiction and physical or psychological problems that would make participation in the course inappropriate and unproductive. If you have completed a comprehensive assessment or are currently in therapy, those records will be requested in lieu of an assessment.