Dr. Wes Boyd on Physicians Being Forced to Submit to Polygraph “Testing”

J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. J. Wesley Boyd writes for Psychology Today on the insidious practice of state physician health programs compelling physicians to submit to polygraph “testing.” Excerpt:

I am a former associate director in a state physician health program (PHP). I also hold faculty appointments at Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School in medical ethics and psychiatry.

There is a little-known nether realm inhabited by a subset of doctors who have or are suspected of having substance use disorders. These physicians often are referred to state PHPs which, because they’re generally considered voluntary in nature, have little to no oversight. PHPs very frequently refer the physicians who come through their doors to evaluation and treatment centers with which they have financial ties, which often result in extended stays that cost doctors tens of thousands of dollars if they hope to continue practicing medicine.

I’ve written about these issues for over a decade, but only recently have I heard that some of the evaluations that physicians are compelled to undergo utilize polygraph tests.

One of these evaluation centers charges physicians $400 per polygraph, and if a physician doesn’t pass on the first or second try, they can keep paying $400 per test until they finally pass. Once they pass, all is forgiven about the failed tests, as long as the check clears for all of the tests.

Make no mistake: Physicians definitely want to pass the test, because failure to do so would likely result in them being pronounced unfit to work by the evaluation center. If that were to happen, the evaluation center would then inform the PHP of their findings. In turn, the PHP would then inform the board of medicine, which would then almost certainly come after the physician’s license in some manner or other.

And mind you, the cost for the polygraphs is on top of the $6000-$10,000 physicians are already spending for these multi-day evaluations, as well as the tens of thousands of dollars those same physicians are likely to spend if the evaluation concludes—as happens very frequently—that they need to stay for up to 90 days for “treatment.”

Read the rest of the article here.

We invite any physician compelled to submit to polygraph “testing” to download a copy of our free book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, which explains polygraph methodology in detail and offers strategies for reducing the risk of a false positive outcome. We would also be interested in hearing from anyone who can help us document which specific state physician health programs, which specific “treatment” centers, and which specific polygraph operators are involved in such schemes. Our contact information is available here.

Comments 2

  • I find this article very disturbing. The medical field is the practical application of various sciences. The so-called lie detector industry is based on pseudoscience.
    Basically, the physicians that oversee the PHPs should know that applying lie detectors is as goofy as using Ouija boards or coin flipping to make decisions. I can almost understand how law enforcement personnel can believe that lie detection is real since most police types have not been scientifically educated. For example, they believe the fake science of Humble, Baker and Berg since all three of these clowns have fake Ph.Ds that the cops believe are real degrees. I am very disappointed that the personnel of PHPs have not done their due diligence and found out the on-going deception of the lie industry.
    If a wrongfully accused doc takes a PHP to court and if a plaintiff attorney puts a PHP representative on the stand and asks that person to explain why the discredited polygraph is being used to determine the fitness of a physician….Well let’s say if ain’t gonna be pretty for the PHP.

  • Here’s one! Pretty sure everybody has said things that a politically incorrect! We all know who we are! Dan ribcoff if he did what is said about him. He is an asshole! But I’ll tell you what, I miss Dan! He made the show! I believe in these lie detector tests because this is not junk science in my opinion. I feel a whole different vibe on the Steve wilko show without Dan. It’s not the same for me.

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