State Medical Boards: Healthcare licensing and issue spotting with medical malpractice cases

Some examples of medical mistakes and misdiagnosis come directly from the stories reported by doctors!
Some examples of medical mistakes and misdiagnosis come directly from the stories reported by doctors!

The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives the states authority to create laws and regulations to license and oversee professionals. In the healthcare industry like others, a license to practice is not an inherent right of the doctor, rather a privilege granted by state boards. The individuals elected to establish and oversee state medical boards are ultimately concerned with the health, safety and the welfare of their residents. State medical boards protect citizens from doctors who are unprofessional, improper and incompetent in their practice of medicine.

Generally, states make laws stating that it is unlawful or illegal to practice certain professions as medicine, law, accounting and real estate without holding a valid license issued by the state board. Just like medical boards, each entity that issues licenses also regulates and oversees complaints of regulation infractions. When complaints are received, an investigation, even if short, is opened. As a matter of policy, a review of the allegations of wrongdoing and inquiry letter to the professional is in the best interest of the public.

A complaint of wrongdoing surely does not necessarily trigger discipline, but ignoring a complaint will.

The source of complaints to state medical boards is unending. In any professional delivery of services, the possibility of mistake or unhappy patient is always present. If the state board does not find cause to discipline, suspend or revoke an individual’s license, and this is often the case, then the matter is closed.

What is ultimately unfortunate, some decide not to respond to inquiry letters. Most state medical boards will grant extensions of time to doctors who need additional time to properly respond or meet with an attorney. Ignoring that board, however, could be interpreted as evasive conduct and could be weighed in connection with other factors in the event an inference need be made about the individual.

The settlement of cases involving doctors, such as medical malpractice, can cause an inquiry by the state medical board.

In medical malpractice cases, for example, a settlement or adverse finding in a civil case is automatically reported to the state medical boards by most insurance companies after the case ends. When there is a duty to report cases involving the doctor’s services, there may be no action taken by a licensing entity. A very serious charge, a high dollar settlement amount, or a number of cases, however might trigger an investigation into that doctor’s practice and conduct. The results could be requirements for retraining or more education, suspension or revocation of the doctor’s license to practice medicine.

The fallout from an adverse decision concerning a professional’s license can be significant. A nationwide database collects and shares information concerning licensed professionals in several states. If an individual licensed in several states has one state posting a finding of discipline, other states may find out and more action is possible. Malpractice defense attorneys should consult with professional licensing attorneys to spot all the issues in a doctor’s case.

To learn more about professional licensing and medical malpractice defense you may contact our firm.

Michael V. Favia & Associates are available to help and meet for client consultations with offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburbs so you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please visit and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.