2022-2023 Course Dates

The Program for Distressed Physicians course includes a 3-day course and three follow-up group cohort sessions scheduled at 1, 3, and 6 months.

Please note our COVID-19 policy:

Revised 9.23.2022

As, the Center for Professional Health, transitions back to in-person courses, we recognize that other surges of COVID-19 variants which we can’t predict may occur.  We operate according to the policies of Vanderbilt University Medical Center  (VUMC) and will let participants know as soon as possible if a change to the format of delivery of the course content is necessary.  Thank you for your understanding and flexibility in these changing times.  

Masks will no longer be required in indoor, non-clinical areas for vaccinated individuals. In these areas, there is a smaller risk of exposure to people who might develop severe illness or complications from COVID-19. Non-vaccinated individuals should continue to mask in non-clinical areas. Vaccinated persons may choose to wear a mask in non-clinical areas. 

We request that a copy of your vaccine card be sent to CPH via email along with your registration.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center no longer requires social distancing between people in non-clinical settings for those who have been vaccinated. We want to make you aware that while our conference room has enough space there will not be “social distancing” space of 6 feet between participants.   

Also, in line with CDC recommendations, masking will continue to be required in all clinical areas and on shuttles, as there is a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 for those people who are more likely to develop severe illness or complications from an infection. These masking requirements apply to all employees, patients, trainees, and visitors. Masks are not required outdoors, and we encourage using outdoor spaces to eat and drink. There is no restriction on size of indoor or outdoor gatherings.

January 11-13, 2023

February 27, April 17, July 17, 2023 open

February 8-10, 2023

March 13, May 15, August 14, 2023 FULL

March 22-24, 2023

April 24, June 26, September 25, 2023 open

May 17-19, 2023

June 19, August 21, November 20, 2023  open

July 19-21, 2023

August 28, October 23, 2023, January 8, 2024 open 

September 13-15, 2023

October 16, December 4, 2023,  March 11, 2024 open

October 4-6, 2023

November 6, 2023, January 15, 2024, April 15, 2024  open

November 8-10, 2023

December 11, 2023, February 12, 2024, May 13, 2024  open

Course Information

Please call 615-936-0678 or email cph@vumc.org regarding course registration information. The course registration and payment link will be emailed at the time of inquiry. *A phone interview with the Course Director is required and may occur after registering for the Program for Distressed Physicians.

he cost is $6,000 for a three-day course followed by three half-day sessions at 1-, 3-, and 6-months post course. The course fee is due in full at registration. The payment for the course must be made in full before a seat within the course can be confirmed.

You may pay by check or credit card. Upon submission of registration, you will be redirected to the payment page. If paying by check, make your check payable to VUMC. Mail to 2525 West End Ave. Suite 9200 Nashville, TN 37203-1775.

Course Logistics:

Course enrollment is limited to 6 participants. 

The Program for Distressed Physicians course includes a 3-day course and three follow-up group cohort sessions scheduled at 1, 3, and 6 months.

Course Goals: 

  1. Teach new skills in the recognition and expression of emotions that lead to unprofessional behavior.   

  2. Provide a syllabus of selected readings and resources for the distressed physician.
  3. Teach the range of inappropriate behaviors.
  4. Provide strategies for the prevention of inappropriate behavior.
  5. Provide follow-up and support in maintaining behavior changes.
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the course based on feedback from the workplace monitoring system.

Course Objectives:
After participating in this CME activity, participants should be able to describe and discuss:

  1. Personal potential for unprofessional behavior
  2. Potential for unprofessional behavior in professional settings
  3. Circumstances that contribute to inappropriate behavior in professional settings.

Target Audience:
Physicians and other health care professionals referred to the course by State Medical Boards and Physicians Health Programs for unprofessional behavior and those interested in increasing knowledge and skills in the recognition and expression of emotions that lead to unprofessional behavior.

Course Faculty:
Caroline Post Cone, M.S.N., APRN, PMHCNS, BC
Assistant in Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Course Director, Center for Professional Health

Linda L.M. Worley, M.D., FACLP, FAPA Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Vanderbilt University School Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center designates this live activity for a maximum of 48.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Course Outline


8:00 am | Welcome

8:30 am - Introduction  William Swiggart, MS

9:15 am - Session 1 | Group Exercise - Tension in the Physicians World William Swiggart, MS Group discussion- confidentiality, and group process. Participants will discuss why they were referred and establish goals for the course.

11:15 am - Session 2 | Becoming a Physician Linda L.M. Worley, M.D. A lecture and discussion about the process involved in physician training as well as some common personality traits.

12:15 pm - Lunch

1:15 pm - Session 3 | DVD But I just left the OR Used with permission of State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company.

2:00 pm - Session 4 A | Genogram William Swiggart, MS Lecture and demonstration on systems theory and its application to the family; participants will construct a personal genogram.

3:00 pm - Session 4 B | Shame and Guilt William Swiggart, MS A lecture focusing on the powerful affect of shame and how it influences behaviors.

4:00 pm - Session 4 C | Homework Assignment - William Swiggart, MS

4:30 pm - Emotional Check-Up Go Around

2 hours of evening homework required: Complete Genogram, RSQ, ACE, CALM, MBI
Read Costs of Anger Chapter 2 in The Anger Control Workbook


8:00 am - Welcome

8:30 am - Session 5 | Group Exercise Emotional Check-Up Go Around CALM/Costs of Anger Discussion

9:00 am - Session 6 | Group Exercise Genogram
William Swiggart, MS, Linda L.M. Worley, MD, Douglas Herr, Psy.D., Ron Neufeld, BSW, LADAC

12:00 pm - Lunch - Review B-29 Report

1:00 pm - Session 7A Building Emotional Intelligence
View and discuss DVDs Used with permission of State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company
Linda L.M. Worley, MD, William Swiggart, MS, Douglas Herr, Psy.D.,Ron Neufeld, BSW, LADAC

4:00 pm - Session 7 B Role Play Exercise

4:30 pm - Session 8

Intend to Change and Flooding Exercises (Homework assignment)

Return Self-Assessment Instruments (FACES II, ACE); Explanations consent form; CME credits.

5:00 pm - Emotional Check-Up Go Around

2.5 hours evening homework required 1. Complete Intend to Change and Flooding Exercises 2. Review Self-Assessment Instruments 3. Write your role play scenario.


8:00 am - Welcome

8:30 am - Session 9 | Group Exercise - Emotional Check-Up Go Around/CALM

9:00 am - Session 10 | Role-Play Exercise (continued from Day Two)

12:00 pm - Session 11

11A - Assertiveness II - Douglas Herr, Psy.D., William Swiggart, MS

11B - Relapse Prevention - Douglas Herr, Psy.D., William Swiggart, MS

12:30 pm - Lunch

1:30 pm - Session 12 | Thriving Despite it All: Physician Stress Management - Linda L.M. Worley, MD

2:30 pm - Break

2:45 pm - Session 13 | 13 A - Intend to Change Written Exercise - William Swiggart, MS, Experiential exercise in which the participants review three behaviors they wish to change because of the course.

3:45 pm - 13 B - Emotional Check-Up Go Around Final Feedback
Discuss Bridge Story. Homework Assignment for 1st follow-up group - Complete evaluation.

4:30 pm - Adjourn

Cancellation Policy: Course registration must be cancelled at least 30 days prior to the first day of the course to receive a refund. No refunds will be given if cancellation is received less than 30 days prior to the course. You may transfer to another course date. In the event Vanderbilt must cancel or reschedule this CME activity due to unforeseen circumstances, Vanderbilt University will refund the registration fee in full. Vanderbilt University is not responsible for non-transferable, non-refundable airline tickets or hotel accommodations purchased in connection with attendance at this CME activity. Failure to appear for the event will result in forfeiture of the entire course fee.