55% of Censured Docs Face No Licensing Action by State Medical Boards

More than half of U.S. physicians whose negligence, malpractice, or other behaviors result in censure from hospital peer review escape any state medical board licensing action, according to national health watchdog group, Public Citizen.

4 comments on "55% of Censured Docs Face No Licensing Action by State Medical Boards"
Richard Willner (5/7/2011 at 9:30 AM)

One thing comes to mind. Was the evaluation of the surgeon or physician fair at the hospital peer review? Under the federal law called the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986, the ONLY right that the doctor ( MD, DO, DPM, DDS) has is "procedural due process". He does not have "due process rights". Yes, I know it is hard to believe but this is the fact. The details can be seen at The Center for Peer Review Justice, www.PeerReview.org . Physician Peer Review can be fine and proper, or it can be "gamed" as the Hospital and all concerned enjoy immunity under this Law and case law that follows. And, a doctor can be called "disruptive" and be on the fast tract towards losing his Licence. How is "disruptive physician" or a "disruptive surgeon" defined? After 11 years of seeing hundreds of cases, it is definded as anything that the CEO says it is. Really. But, there ARE solutions that have been developed.
Shammed Doc (3/19/2011 at 2:01 AM)

There is a major flaw in assuming that a hospital's decision to revoke a physician's privileges or to enforce a disciplinary action necessarily means that a physician is actually bad. This is not even the most likely scenario by any stretch of imagination. The current laws actually do not have a provision, whatsoever, that an accused physician be provided with a constitutional "due process", believe it or not. In other words, if some gang up, and they control the entire process against an undesirable physician (for whatever reason) there is no recourse for the physician since she/he may not be given the right to an "impartial" authority (equal to an impartial jury). So, I just wanted to alert the readers that the current process lumps together rogue doctors with excellent ones who got "shammed" by their peers. A peer review reform is needed to protect the patients from the rogue doctors who stay in power without being subjected to any reviews, and protect the good doctors who are now pushed under the bus by malicious-acting peers. Patients are victims of a process that does not effectively differentiate the definitely good from the definitely bad. Loopholes get exploited all the time. I try to increase awareness with this important issue via a blog www.shammeddoc.blogspot.com .
April (3/18/2011 at 10:55 AM)

Keep in mind that doctors can be reported to the NPDB for minor things such as not signing charts in a timely manner. While bad, it is not the same as leaving a foreign object in a patient. This story is taking something that needs to be looked at and blowing it out of proportion for publicity and ratings.
Donna Kent, BSN, RN (3/17/2011 at 2:05 PM)

While I am a firm believer in a "Just Culture" environment, I don't think it serves our patients or healthcare in general to treat physicians as if their mistakes don't really count. They are as human as the rest of us and need support. Punishment, does not seem appropriate unless the situation involves conscious neglect or malpractice. That does not mean however, that they should not be held accountable for their actions and behavior. Voluntary, temporary surrender of a license as is frequently done by nurses to their state licensing board, could be "a lesson learned" regarding their accountability to the public. Perhaps we would serve our patients better if let those doctors step down off the pedastal we all have a tendency to place them on.


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