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What Is IDAA?

Doctors and Burnout: A Serious Issue with Major Consequences

International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous is, according to their website, “a worldwide fellowship of more than 9,900 healthcare professionals, and their families, who strive to help one another to achieve and maintain recovery from addictions.

The organization is membership based. Memberships are open to: “doctorate level health care providers, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, or to those in training for these degrees.” according to the website.

A few important facts are essential to note. For example, IDAA does not and will not have any affiliation with agencies or treatment providers who monitor recovery for physicians. IDAA and Alcoholics Anonymous are completely independent and unaffiliated resources for doctors in recovery. Additionally, being a member of IDAA does not interact with licensure or regulatory agencies at the local, state, or national level. There is no financial benefit for professionals in IDAA when they volunteer or serve on the board.

Confidentiality in IDAA

“What is heard here, stays here” is a common phrase spoken at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to remind participants of the tradition of anonymity. Twelve step meetings are a sacred space for individuals in recovery to find refuge, solidarity, guidance, and support. One of doctors’ greatest fears about participating in 12-step recovery is their loss of anonymity. They may have patients in the rooms or people may gossip that the local doctor is an alcoholic. IDAA membership is unlike AA membership in that there are strict guidelines regarding the confidentiality of what is said. Whereas a normal AA meeting is a mix of people from all kinds of professions, IDAA is strictly for doctors.

Protecting Anonymity

Doctors may choose to be open about their experiences with alcoholism and drug addiction in order to help as many people as they can. However, a patient’s trust in their doctor is an essential part of the doctor-patient relationship. Shame, stigma, and stereotype still get placed on doctor’s if it is revealed that a doctor is living in recovery from alcoholism. Doctors may choose to maintain their anonymity in order to protect their relationships with patients. Anonymity is a promise in IDAA, making it a welcome organization for sober doctors.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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