Report: Calif. Failed To Discipline 700+ Doctors For Safety Risks

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you are a dangerous doctor licensed to practice in California, your chances of facing disciplinary action from the state medical board are slim to none, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The report from the nonprofit group Public Citizen alleges that over 700 doctors who were disciplined by their hospitals or HMOs have yet to face any action by the the same board that licenses them to practice medicine.

KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports the findings paint a devastating picture of the state of health care in California.

Public Citizen recently sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown urging him to take action on  what it says is “dangerously inadequate medical board activity”.

In the letter, the group claims that out of the 220 doctors nationwide who are considered an “immediate threat to health or safety”, 102 of these — 46 percent — are California physicians, even though the state has only about 12 percent of the physicians licensed in the U.S.

Jennifer Simoes, spokeswoman for the California medical board, concedes that the state’s budget crisis has clearly had an impact.

“Staffing shortages is something that’s affecting all state agencies,” said Simoes.

Although the Public Citizen report says the state medical board’s disciplinary performance has worsened over the past 13 years, the medical board spokeswoman argued that it has actually improved compared to 2010.

  • igor doublebubblevich

    I turned a doctor from Kaiser Fonrtana to the Medical Board f or gross incompetency after another doctor there testified the doctor falsified a diagnosis, never heard from the board or kaiser fonrtana, both are useless. would never go to any Kaiser hospital.

  • Patric Paramedic

    As a medical professional who investigates physician misbehavior for a living, I can fairly report that if anything, Public Citizen understates the peril of innocent patients at the hands of the off-the-chart number of medical miscreants.

    However, California’s Medical Board is merely one of many who have turned a blind eye to depraved physicians, including those who have killed patients; served time for Homicide. and then re-licensed to play yet again.

    The state of Tennessee re-licensed Dr. Visu Vilvarajah after serving prison time for murdering his wife and mother in law.

    You may want to go back and read that statement again.

    The National Practitioner Data Base holds files on a jaw-dropping 237,000 MDs – at least half of whom have been found guilty of Rape & Patient Assault; Injecting fake Botox; Date Rape; Child Molestation; Drug-Running; Filming teir nude patients; and the most common crime of all – faking diagnostic tests in order to justify unnecessary surgeries & procedures.

    The majority of that 237,00 were allowed to return to health care, regardless of their crimes.

    As far as we can determine, however, California’s Medical Board is the only one to have re-licensed a doctor after he chopped up a dead patient and stuffed her body parts down a sewer.

    So my considered opinion is that yes, the Golden State’s oversight can indeed do better.

    (see “America’s Dumbest Doctors” for just how serious a problem we have)

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