What do you know about your physician (i.e., general practitioner, psychiatrist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, hematologist, gynecologist, orthopedic surgeon, vascular surgeon) in regard to violations? What you don’t know may surprise you.
The State Medical Board of Ohio provides information concerning licensing of doctors, which is public record — and disciplinary actions. Why do consumers need to stay informed?
According to a May 3, 2016 article by Ariana Cha in The Washington Post, Johns Hopkins University researchers estimated that medical error is the third leading cause of death. The first being heart disease, and the second being cancer.
Cha reviewed the results of a study in the British Medical Journal published in May of 2016. Researchers, Martin Makary and Michael Daniel, professors of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine spearheaded the research. “It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care,” stated Makary as quoted by Cha.
Diane Suchetka, a reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote an extensive article in 2012 entitled “Has your doctor been disciplined by the state medical board?” Information included doctors that are disciplined, suspended, put on probation or have licenses revoked. She discussed how and when a complaint should be filed against a doctor with the State Medical Board of Ohio. www.cleveland.com.
What types of violations can a doctor be disciplined for? Among others, an impaired ability to practice medicine because of drug or alcohol abuse or physical or mental illness. Prescribing drugs inappropriately or without a legitimate reason. Failure to meet minimal standards of care in treating patients — for example, not following up on a patient’s test results. Inappropriate sexual conduct. Conviction of a felony. Falsifying information or fraud, such as billing for procedures that were never performed. Failing to meet continuing medical education requirements.
I looked up physicians in Scioto County. I went to the Monthly Formal Action reports webpage and scrolled through pages of summaries of disciplinary actions and sanctions imposed by the Ohio Medical Board as well as status of cases on appeal via the courts. This information is public record. The process is time consuming, because each board action is categorized by month and year. And I could only find reports from 2013 to 2018 on the website.
I suggest that every consumer search the State Medical Board of Ohio website (www.med.ohio.gov) before the first appointment with any physician, as well as use word-of-mouth around town. And seek a second opinion outside of town. Additionally, please educate yourself via reputable internet sites and resources at the public library before making healthcare decisions about medication, surgery and other medical procedures.
The Ohio laws pertaining to physician investigations include Ohio Revised Code 2305.24, 2305.25, 2305.251 and 2305.252.
The State Medical Board of Ohio also licenses physician assistants, massage therapists, cosmetic therapists, anesthesiologist assistants, radiologist assistants and acupuncturists.
The Ohio Board of Nursing regulates nursing care and licenses. www.nursing.ohio.gov/.
And just so you know, I have a license from the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board and you can look me up, too.
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, self-syndicated columnist, educator and therapist. She resides in Scioto County, Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.