Disciplinary Action Against Physicians: Who is Likely to Get Discipline? - American Board of Medical Specialties

Researchers attempted to identify the characteristics of physicians disciplined by State Medical Boards, and to assess the risk of disciplinary action over time. For that purpose, publicly available data for physicians licensed in Oklahoma was obtained and analyzed for disciplinary action in 2001. Study findings showed that the rate of disciplinary action increased over time, with each successive 10 year period since licensure. Increased risk of disciplinary action was associated with being a man, non-white, and non-board certified, and practicing family medicine, general practice, psychiatry, obstetrics gynecology, and emergency medicine. The hazard ratio for adverse licensure action for non-board certified compared to board certified physicians was 3.3 (p<0.001) by univariate analysis and 2.2 (p<0.001) by multivariate analysis. The most common disciplinary action involved quality of care issues, medication/prescription violations, incompetence, and negligence/malpractice. More than half of the complaints were brought forward by general public; significantly less came from the Federation of State Medical Boards, Medicare, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies; and least, from other physicians, office staff, national practitioner data bank, pharmacies and pharmacists, and hospital personnel. Study findings are subject to database accuracy.

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