According to the LA Times, the California Medical Board may be a “failed regulator”. You can view the LA Times article on this topic by visiting this link
What does this mean for California doctors? It could mean that they are truly less regulated. It could mean that the California Board deals with actions against Doctors differently than in other states. What may be considered “serious discipline” in one state, may not be so serious in another. What States call their disciplinary actions may also differ. It could also mean that the Board, like other State agencies have other alternatives to carry out their mandates to protect the public than “serious discipline.”
The fact is, the number of disciplinary actions taken by a Board like the Medical Board of California may be of very little consequence. The question is not the number of actual disciplinary actions (or Accusations, revocations and suspensions) that are taken, but rather, how safe are consumers when they visit a Doctor in the State of California? The purpose of license discipline and regulation is not punishment. The purpose is public protection. And, if a State regulatory Board, like the Medical Board, can ensure public safety without “serious discipline” then, does the number of serious disciplinary actions really matter?
As a licensing defense attorney, my job is to ensure that all licensees, including doctors, do not become part of some possibly meaningless statistic. My job is to ensure the law is enforced fairly, and that my clients are not punished. If a Board can protect the public without punishment, then serious disciplinary action is not always necessary.
This is a round about way of simply questioning statistics. Look at public safety, not how many disciplinary actions that are or are not filed. Quotas have never worked, and have no place in the realm of license discipline.
We can all agree, we all want safety in our professionals. But, serious discipline is just one of many tools available to a state agency to ensure the continued competency and safety of their regulated professionals.
Call Scott J. Harris to discuss Professional License Defense matters at 323-370-6139.