State Medical Boards Not Adequately Protecting Patients from Bad Doctors
Medical boards in many states are failing to do enough to discipline doctors following medical mistakes, potentially exposing consumers to a risk of medical malpractice caused by bad physicians, according to a new report by the consumer watchdog group, Public Citizen.
On May 17, Public Citizen released its annual report (pdf) on how often state medical boards take serious disciplinary actions against doctors.
Overall in 2011, 3.06 doctors out of every 1,000 were subjected to serious disciplinary actions by state medical boards. That is a slight increase over 2010’s rate of 2.97, but Public Citizen says that the numbers indicate a lot of state medical boards are continuing to let doctors get away with practicing bad medicine.
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Serious disciplinary actions that state medical boards can take against doctors include license revocations and surrenders, suspensions and probation, as well as restrictions on what they can practice.
South Carolina was found to be the state least likely to discipline a bad doctor, according to the study, with only 1.33 actions per 1,000 doctors. The states has made the “worst 10” list nine times since 2001. Other states and territories least likely to discipline their doctors included the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Nevada, New Jersey and Florida.
Wyoming was the state found most likely to discipline bad doctors, according to Public Citizen’s research, with 6.79 disciplinary actions for every 1,000 doctors. Other states in the top 10 included Louisiana, Ohio, Delaware, New Mexico, Nebraska, Alaska, Oklahoma, Washington and West Virginia.
Public Citizen indicates that the lack of disciplinary actions is a failure on the part of the medical boards to live up to their obligations to protect patients. Some of that can probably be blamed on tighter state budgets, Public Citizen researchers determined.
“Action must be taken, legislatively and through public pressure on medical boards themselves, to increase the amount of discipline, and thus, the amount of patient protection,” said Dr. Sydney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.”Ensuring that medical boards are adequately funded is an important prerequisite to achieving this, especially because doctors’ licensing fees, intended to fund medical board functions, are sometimes taken to fund other state functions.”
sJune 15, 2019 at 11:13 pm
I was retaliated against and threatened for reporting Siddhartha Nadkarni, Orrin Devinsky and Daniel Friedman who engaged in unlawful conduct. I had to go to the authorities and outside agencies, because NYU Langone stonewalled and would not address the many violations of law, and did not elevate the matter to law enforcement as required by state and federal law. I also incurred spoliation of my m[Show More]I was retaliated against and threatened for reporting Siddhartha Nadkarni, Orrin Devinsky and Daniel Friedman who engaged in unlawful conduct. I had to go to the authorities and outside agencies, because NYU Langone stonewalled and would not address the many violations of law, and did not elevate the matter to law enforcement as required by state and federal law. I also incurred spoliation of my medical record. The legal department at NYU Langone (Lynn Lowy, and Annette Johnson) failed in their fiduciary responsibility to protect patients and report dangerous doctors.
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