Doctors Who Surrender Medical Licenses Go Under the Radar In Other States: Kansas Attorneys Discuss
When a doctor is forced to surrender his or her medical license, it often comes on the heels of serious allegations. This can include unprofessional conduct, surgical errors, improper opioid prescriptions, and sexual misconduct with patients.
Surrendering medical licenses can relieve doctors of further legal complications and social stigma. It may also keep the allegations brought against a doctor out of the public eye. However, it doesn’t bar doctors from practicing in other states. Legally, one state can force doctors to surrender their licenses if they ran into trouble in other states. However, many doctors go under the radar – and put everyone at risk.
The problem is more prevalent than you may think
According to an MSN article, one doctor surrendered his medical license in three states before settling in Ohio. In Louisiana, he faced disciplinary action for reportedly removing a healthy kidney during colon surgery. In California, he mistook a woman’s fallopian tube for her appendix and removed it. In New York, he surrendered his license after regulators caught wind of his error in California. But the same doctor remains active and continues to be licensed to practice medicine in Ohio (his medical license is still active in Ohio as of Dec. 17, 2018).
This problem is more common than you may think. The MSN article cites an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USA Today and MedPage Today that unveiled something shocking. Since 2013, more than 250 doctors who gave up their medical licenses in one state were able to practice in another state.
Roughly one-third of these doctors were able to practice in another state, exempt from limitations and public disclosure, by changing their addresses. In some cases, doctors faced disciplinary action; however, the details were concealed from patients.
The data was extracted from TruthMd, a private healthcare tracking firm. Since the data only goes back to 2013, the true number of doctors who have given up their licenses but who can still practice in another state could be significantly higher.
What you can do to protect yourself
When being treated by a doctor, it’s important to know his or her background. You can first search the national database on the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) website. While some details may be sparse, this database will reveal board certifications, educational background, states where a doctor holds an active license, and any disciplinary action taken against a doctor.
In the event of an adverse event, your legal rights should be upheld. You may be faced with lifelong complications resulting from a single error. Even worse, you may have lost a loved one because a doctor performed the wrong procedure or failed to perform a procedure with due care.
An experienced Wichita medical malpractice attorney at Warner Law Offices can help you review all your options. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience representing medical malpractice victims in Wichita and across Kansas. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation.