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Physician Misconduct and Public Disclosure Practices at the Medical Board of California

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Publication Date: November 2008

Publisher(s): California State Library. California Research Bureau

Author(s): Brian R Sala

Topic: Health (Physicians, nurses, and other health personnel)
Health (Licensing and regulation)
Law and ethics (Liability, torts, and personal injury)

Keywords: medical errors - reporting; physicians - malpractice

Type: Report

Coverage: California

Abstract:

This report explores current Medical Board of California public disclosure laws, regulations and practices; and presents policy options for improving public access to information about physicians in support of the MBC's public protection mandate. The report presents new statistical findings on physician attributes associated with higher odds of facing formal disciplinary charges. Additionally, we review academic research on the incidence of medical errors, which suggests that patients harmed by negligent or incompetent care rarely file lawsuits or formal complaints against their caregivers. We present a number of policy options for expanding public disclosure about California physicians and enhancing the MBC's public outreach program. This report was mandated by SB 1438 (Chapter 223, Statutes of 2006), sponsored by Senator Figueroa.