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Medical Boards Step Up Disciplinary Actions

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 18, 2012

The number of bad doctors who were punished by their state medical boards increased 6.8% between 2010 and 2011, with significant increases in high population states such as Florida, California, Ohio and Texas, according to the latest annual summary from the Federation of State Medical Boards.

The number of disciplinary actions of all types rose from 5,652 to 6,025. These actions include the most severe penalties, in which a physician loses the license to practice or loses certain privileges, to less severe or "non-prejudicial" actions or public reprimands.

But Sidney Wolfe, MD, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group,  which has long criticized what he sees as lax licensing supervision of the nation's medical professionals, is not impressed.

He sees the latest report as evidence that most state medical boards continue to fail to protect the public from bad doctors, especially in states that have the lowest physician penalty rates:  South Carolina, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Nevada, New Jersey, Florida, and the District of Columbia. Wolfe's group incorporated the new FSMB data into its own much more negative report Thursday.

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3 comments on "Medical Boards Step Up Disciplinary Actions"


T. Regan (5/25/2012 at 1:26 AM)
When did we become the enemy? Keep it up with more regulation and bullying, and the "citizens advocacy group" can start compounding their own tinctures and simples and herbs when the cookbook care of mid-levels who don the white coat clock out and head home for the day.

fammed (5/22/2012 at 4:18 PM)
where is the report that how insurance companies underpay for medical services. 1) people are willing to pay for treatments for their dog more then themselves. make any sense 2) EMR is NOT improving healthcare it IS reducing physician productivity and eye strain 3) E prescribing is NOT going to improve anything but give the govt a better chance to monitor you. 4) medicaid is a insurance that UNDERPAYS doctors for care. can you pay 30 cents on a dollar per gallon price. well medicaid can.

Steve Johnson (5/21/2012 at 12:38 PM)
"'There's really no difference in the quality of doctors from state to state,' he says." Year after year, Dr. Wolfe makes this remark. It seems quite unlikely to in fact be true but he is never challenged on this by the media. In fact, it seems likely that there will be a tendency for physicians to want to practice in more desirable states and for physicians who are less employable to have to move to less desirable states.