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TN-PSQ: Two Years and 400+ Screenings Thus Far

Two years of activity on the Tennessee Professional Screening Questionnaire (TN-PSQ) have shown the online mental health screening tool is helping to address the “parallel pandemic” affecting Tennessee health professionals in the era of COVID.

This is according to TMF Health Quality Institute leaders, who say data and user comments appear to confirm that the new resource is reaching its intended population and goals. More than 400 health professionals served by the TMF have utilized the site since it was launched in February 2020 as a proactive way to address rising mental health referrals to its Physician’s Health Program.

The TN-PSQ is a free, confidential, interactive online mental health screening tool based on the PHQ-9 questionnaire — a widely-accepted vehicle for self-assessment of common mental disorders; it offers a response from, and optional anonymous interaction with, a licensed mental health professional for further assistance and connection to nearby mental health resources. The resource is separate and apart from the TMF, and its users are unknown to the TMF unless they contact the Foundation and reveal they have taken the screening.

Its target audience is health professionals who may not contact the TMF Physician’s Health Program directly; the goal is to reach them before a mental health condition leads to more serious problems affecting patient safety and/or resulting in a referral to the TMF or action by an employer or state licensing board.


  • 85% were not already receiving treatment or therapy
  • 74% reviewed counselor’s response
  • 32% dialogued anonymously with counselor
  • 72% requested an appointment or referral


  • “Two things I like about the TN-PSQ is being able to keep my anonymity – I’m scared to be seen as unreliable or unfit for the field, and I’m extremely prideful – but more importantly, being able to talk through writing.”
  • “This is a great service to our state’s health professionals.”
  • “I thank you so much for helping me in any way you can – and for reading my story. I truly appreciate the work and effort you put into your job and the services of TN-PSQ.”
  • “I’m feeling very burdened by work, family and other things and the weight of it feels crushing. Difficult for me to admit vulnerability and I’m exhausted by trying to fix this alone. There is definitely a fear of judgment by others given my profession. I appreciate any help or direction you can provide.”

Learn More

Click here for more information about the TN-PSQ.

To take the screening, click here.

About The Author

Dr. Michael Baron attained his Medical Degree, Masters in Public Health, and completed an internal medicine internship at Tulane University, School of Medicine. He completed his first residency in anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine, and his Psychiatry training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  He has maintained Board Certification in Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. He has practiced in the Nashville area since 1998 in a variety of settings including private practice, teaching hospitals and residential treatment centers.  Dr. Baron was appointed to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners (BME) in 2010 and served as Chair of the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database committee.  He resigned from these positions in January 2017 to become the Medical Director of the Tennessee Medical Foundation – Physician Health Program. As well, he is the psychiatrist of record at the Davidson County Drug Court- DC4.

The contents of The Sentinel are intended for educational/informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Policyholders are urged to consult with their personal attorney for legal advice, as specific legal requirements may vary from state to state and/or change over time.

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