By the time the Medical Board of California filed a petition to revoke the license of Michael Jackson's doctor this month—three years after the pop icon died—public complaints were common. Chief among them: What took so long?
It was shortly after Jackson's death that critics started pounding the medical board for failing to quickly revoke physician Conrad Murray's license, or at least seek an interim suspension, after the doctor was charged with illicitly administering anesthesia to the performer, who had wanted to overcome insomnia.
The Jackson case was certainly high-profile, but it is only one of many across the country in which medical boards have failed to act expeditiously, or even at all, against bad doctors.
Earlier this month, a New England investigative reporting group published a story about the Massachusetts Board of Medicine, describing a "veil of secrecy" afforded to some doctors "due to physician-friendly provisions in state law, the board's policy of purging certain records, sometimes in violation of state law, and outdated technology."