Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Public Citizen Ranks State Medical Boards for Serious Disciplinary Actions

Even though the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) discourages people from using their Summary of Board Actions report to rank medical boards in different states, the Public Citizen has published a "Ranking of State Medical Boards’ Serious Disciplinary Actions: 2007-2009."

10 Lowest States (lowest three-year rate of serious disciplinary actions):
* Minnesota (1.07 actions per 1000 physicians)
* South Carolina (1.09)
* Wisconsin (1.59)
* New Hampshire (1.65)
* Connecticut (1.80)
* Massachusetts (1.93)
* Mississippi (2.17)
* Florida (2.25)
* Maryland (2.30)
* Vermont (2.34) 
10 Highest States (highest three-year rates of serious disciplinary actions)
* Alaska (7.89 serious actions per 1,000 physicians)
* North Dakota (6.01)
* Kentucky (5.67)
* Ohio (5.43)
* Arizona (5.20)
* Oklahoma (5.01)
* Colorado (4.99)
* Louisiana (4.76)
* New Mexico (4.13)
* Hawaii (4.03)
Here are my questions: Are high rates of serious disciplinary actions a good thing or a bad thing? Why are the rates so different? Is it because some state medical boards aren't doing an adequate job, or because there are fewer physicians requiring disciplinary actions in certain states? Do we assume that each state roughly has the same proportion of physicians who require disciplinary actions?  You can view the Public Citizen summary here.

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