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Many State Medical Boards Leave Bad Doctors Undisciplined

By means of a recent report that was issued Tuesday, a New York Injury Attorney learned that at least part of the reason for rogue doctors being allowed to continue practicing medicine after having established a negative history is that state medical boards are not disciplining them. They are not disciplining them even after both hospitals and in many instances, the legal system have established histories of negligence and malpractice.

State medical boards are charged with the responsibility of licensing and also with the disciplining of doctors, dentists, and some other medical professionals. The problem it seems, is that once rogue doctors have been disciplined and in some cases restricted and fired from a hospital, the state medical boards are lax in disciplining them. The report that was prepared by Public Citizen, which is a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, further states that Florida’s proportion of undisciplined doctors was higher than the national average.

The group acquired the data used in the report from the National Practitioner Data Bank that was established as a way to track those doctors who were either barred, or restricted. Hospitals, state licensing boards, and professional societies are required to report any activity involving doctors whose privileges to practice at a hospital have been suspended or revoked, or whose license has been suspended or restricted. The reporting requirement is also inclusive of any issues with the doctor’s professional conduct or competence.

There have been relatively few doctors that have been disciplined over the past 20 years, the NYC Personal Injury Lawyer was told. Of the 10,000 doctors that have been disciplined during that time, only 5,800 of them were actually discharged from their duties at a hospital. The report goes on to add that in most cases the state medical boards took no action against the problematic doctors, and that most of them continue to practice medicine.

While the report lists a few examples of problem doctors, there is one that is troublesome. One such doctor, who was never disciplined by the state medical board, had at least 10 medical malpractice reports over a 14-year period that totaled more than $7 million in damages.

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