PROBE: Ethics & Boundaries Program

A Non-Profit Resource for All U.S. Healthcare Professionals

THE PROBE PROGRAM: PROFESSIONAL/PROBLEM-BASED ETHICS

PROBE is a non-adversarial ethics and boundaries program for all healthcare professionals – not just physicians. Intensive small group sessions target participants’ professional misconduct, such as:

  • Misrepresentations
  • Boundary crossings
  • Financial improprieties, and other lapses

Discussions and case analyses facilitate participant “probing” into why they went astray and recommitting to professional ideals.

This course is designed to fulfill licensing board or credentialing requirements for remedial education. To date, participants have come from 48 states plus seven Canadian provinces.

What You Need to Know

Where is PROBE offered?

The PROBE Program is offered in Denver, CO, Raleigh, NC, Newark, NJ, Boston, MA at different times throughout the year.

The PROBE Program in Canada is also offered in Toronto, ON, and Vancouver, BC at different times throughout the year.

A list of the upcoming courses is available at the bottom of this page.

When is PROBE offered?

There will be 16 sessions offered in 2017. Please Click Here for a list of available sessions. A list of upcoming sessions appears at the bottom of this page.

How do I enroll in PROBE?

Enrolling in PROBE is easy. Simply Click Here to access the registration page.

What do past participants say about PROBE?

“The faculty were excellent. They… were very educated about the material they presented.  I didn’t feel judged or embarrassed about why I was here.”

“The faculty… allowed us to express ourselves, helped us to find words, never were condescending or judgmental, always were clear and concise and easy to understand and follow.”

“The course offers an excellent framework in objectively assessing transgressions.”

“It gave me a chance to appreciate my regulatory body’s/society’s perspective.”

Participant Feedback

Who is eligible for PROBE?

PROBE is open to all healthcare professionals and trainees. This includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and dental assistants, physical therapists, chiropractors, medical students, residents and others. Every session is multi-disciplinary and is not restricted to one specialty or degree.

What’s the cost?

$2,095 US – For doctoral level training or an advanced or independent practice clinician, such as: Physician, Dentist, Chiropractor, Doctor of Pharmacy, Veterinarian, Podiatrist, Physician Assistant, Advanced Practice Nurse, Psychologist, and any other healthcare professional with doctoral level training (e.g., Ph.D.)

$1,795 US – Nurse (RN, LPN), registered pharmacist, allied health professional, student, and resident

If you have any questions regarding which tier to select, please contact a CPEP education professional at
(303) 577 – 3232 or email info@cpepdoc.org.

Are PROBE proceedings confidential?

Participation in PROBE is confidential. CPEP does not discuss a participant with any parties except those for whom a participant-signed release is on file. Note: Most licensing boards or credentialing bodies will require participants to sign a release.

While sharing and addressing confidential information among participants and faculty during the PROBE sessions is essential to the success of the Program, any acknowledgment or discussion of confidential information outside of the meeting room is explicitly prohibited by mutual agreement at the outset of the session.

What types of violations or infractions are addressed by PROBE?

Participants are referred for a variety of types of ethics violations or unprofessional conduct. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Boundary violations in the practice of health care including, but not limited to, sexual misconduct, drug diversion, and inappropriate use of social media
  • Misrepresentation or falsification of credentials
  • Financial irregularities
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Civil or criminal violations
  • Failure to adequately inform patients in obtaining consent

What to expect after enrollment?

  • After your initial registration and submission of required documents, you will receive a confirmation of enrollment within 48 – 72 hours
  • Approximately three weeks prior to the start of the seminar, you will receive an e-mail with a link to the syllabus, which must be read prior to the seminar start date
  • The e-mail will also contain links to two assignments that must be completed in advance of the seminar
  • The seminar itself begins with a two-hour evening session, followed by a full day, then a final half-day session
  • A final essay is due two weeks following attendance at the program.  An exact due date will be provided

What are the possible outcomes?

There are three possible outcomes for participants in the PROBE program:

  1. Unconditional Pass: Participant has demonstrated the ability to think ethically about their reasons for referral
  2. Conditional Pass: Participant has largely demonstrated the ability to think ethically about their reasons for referral, but the faculty believe there are still certain areas that could benefit from additional work.
  3. Fail: Participant has not demonstrated the ability to think ethically about their reasons for referral

Note: Many licensing boards and credentialing bodies will require a grade of Unconditional Pass in order to fulfill the requirements of their orders.

What about CME credit?

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Memorial Hospital University of Colorado Health and CPEP.  Memorial Hospital University of Colorado Health is accredited by the Colorado Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Memorial Hospital University of Colorado Health designates this live activity for a maximum of 25.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

PROBE Plus

PROBE Plus is a personalized, in-depth, follow-up module to the PROBE Program, providing six months of structured interaction every two weeks between an individual PROBE participant and a PROBE faculty member. PROBE Plus provides an option for any referring entity that determines a longitudinal follow-up to the PROBE Program is appropriate.

With its curriculum of scheduled telephone conferences, readings, discussions, literature searches, and writing assignments, one might think of PROBE Plus as an ethics monitoring program.

Who qualifies?

PROBE Plus is only for individuals who have already completed the PROBE Program. Participants who earned an unconditional pass in the PROBE Program automatically qualify.  Those participants who earned a conditional pass will be assessed for their appropriateness for enrollment on a case-by-case basis.  Participants who did not pass PROBE do not qualify for PROBE Plus.

How do I enroll in PROBE Plus?

To enroll, the participant should submit a completed enrollment form along with tuition payment to CPEP within three months following the completion of the PROBE Program. The participant will then receive the name and contact information for the faculty mentor.

Click Here to access the PROBE Plus registration page, or call 303-577-3232.

What is the process and timeline?

Upon enrollment, the participant will receive materials describing the year’s activities and expectations. The participant and the assigned faculty mentor will establish the dates for scheduled conference calls over the course of the program.

  • In the initial telephone conversation, the participant and the mentor will review the aims, components and process of PROBE Plus and set specific expectations.
  • The mentor will draft an agreement, including a schedule of dates for additional telephone conferences and for submission of written work. Initially the participant will submit written work to the faculty mentor every two weeks, but this schedule may be amended by mutual, written decision of the mentor and participant.
  • Written work includes a journal of reflections that will help to identify specific goals for the mentoring process that follows, as well as a final essay that will address material arising from the journaling, phone conversations, and concerns of the referring entity.

The faculty mentor will then prepare a written report that evaluates and assesses the participant’s overall level of success in meeting their goals and applying what they have learned to their daily practice.

How is participation evaluated?

The faculty mentor will provide interim feedback to the referring entity if requested or as needed. At the end of the six months, the mentor’s summative letter of evaluation will assess the participant’s overall level of success in PROBE Plus and confer a final grade of either pass or fail. Both the participant and the referring entity receive the final evaluation.

What’s the cost?

The fee for PROBE Plus is $2,500.

Additional Resources