September 10, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- When you require medical care, you must put a certain amount of trust in your physician to provide proper advice and treatment. In addition, you must rely on your state's medical board to sanction doctors who are not providing a proper standard of care for their patients.
Unfortunately, according to reports from Public Citizen and USA Today, these medical boards are not always living up to the reasonable expectations of the patients in their states. In fact, South Carolina's Board of Medical Examiners has been at the bottom of the list across the country in terms of the number of disciplinary actions doled out to doctors each year since 2006.
During the period from 2004 to 2012, the Board of Medical Examiners in South Carolina investigated 3,000 physicians, leading to just 16 license revocations and 68 license suspensions. While some argue these statistics should indicate a high level of care provided by South Carolina doctors, others contend the board is not taking appropriate action following the improper behavior of physicians in the state.
For instance, the Public Citizen
report revealed that doctors in South Carolina have been allowed to continue practicing medicine after performing surgery on the wrong body part, leaving the operating room while patients were under anesthesia, making surgical errors
and even after admitting to using controlled substances.
Failing to properly sanction doctors puts patients at risk
When doctors are not properly sanctioned following a medical error or other type of improper behavior, there is a high likelihood that they will continue to make mistakes. According to a study conducted in 2007 titled, "Sanctions and Recidivism: An Evaluation of Physician Discipline by State Medical Boards," doctors who are sanctioned are likely to require disciplinary action again.
The study found that over 20 percent of the doctors who were sanctioned during the first half of the study were sanctioned for a second time during the second half of the study. The likelihood of a repeat offender increased if the first sanction was considered severe -- in such cases, doctors were over 32 times more likely to receive additional disciplinary measures.
As a result of these findings, many are left questioning whether the sanctions imposed by medical boards go far enough.
Lack of disciplinary action problem across the country
A study conducted by USA Today revealed similar problems across the United States. According to the study, hospitals revoked or rescinded the privileges of approximately 6,000 doctors from 2001 to 2011 because they provided substandard medical care. Of those doctors, however, over 3,000 never received any type of disciplinary action from their state medical board.
In addition, less than one in five of the almost 100,000 physicians who settled medical malpractice
claims were disciplined in any way by the medical board in their state from 2001 to 2011.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the improper conduct of a doctor in South Carolina, seek the counsel of a skilled medical malpractice attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Article provided by Furr & Henshaw
Visit us at www.scmedicalmalpractice.com