Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Peer Assistance Program 


For more than 40 years, the Tennessee Medical Foundation Physician’s Health Program (TMF-PHP) has been offering professional assistance to veterinary professionals suffering with substance use disorders, mental or emotional illness, and other types of impairment. 

The TMF-PHP’s mission is to protect patients through identification, intervention, rehabilitation, and the provision of advocacy/support for physicians impaired by addictive disease, mental or emotional illness. The program seeks to help veterinary professionals by offering guidance and ensuring accountability in their recovery program which can enable a restoration to practice.

Initially focused on alcohol and drugs, the TMF has reshaped the program to assist veterinary professionals, their families, and hospitals with a wider range of problems. These include psychiatric disorders, burnout, stress or anxiety, anger and relationship issues, disruptive behavior, overprescribing, and various psychological issues that can impair a veterinary professional's ability to practice safe and effective medicine. With a success rate of over 80 percent, the TMF-PHP has developed a highly successful, professionally managed program to help save the lives and careers of struggling veterinary professionals.

Today the TMF encourages veterinary professionals and other licensed health professionals it serves to call the Physician’s Health Program before a problem threatens patient safety, their career, or their lives. As part of that effort, the TMF has launched the Tennessee Professional Screening Questionnaire, or TN PSQ. This online tool is a free, voluntary, and confidential way for health professionals to gauge their mental health and connect to resources, hopefully before a call to the TMF is necessary.  Veterinary professionals  can access the TN PSQ to take the screening.  

The PHP has a full clinical staff contingent including Medical Director Michael Baron, MD, MPH, and two full-time case managers. The clinical staff is effective in responding quickly to health professionals in need across the entire state.

Referrals may be made confidentially by a supervisor, an employee assistance program, a co-worker, family member, friend, or the physician themselves. The Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (BVME) or its investigative staff will also make referrals to the PHP when a rehabilitation program is deemed appropriate as a part of a disciplinary action.

Veterinary professionals, their family members, employers, colleagues, and anyone needing to refer to or consult with the Physician’s Health Program may contact the TMF: 

5141 Virginia Way, Suite 110

Brentwood, TN  37027