Do you know your doctor? Sure, you may know your doctor’s office hours or where they went to medical school, but do you know if they’ve been put on probation by your state’s medical board? California Safe Patient Network activists are working to persuade the Medical Board of California (MBC) to require that California doctors who are on probation tell their patients.
Are you ready for some disturbing info? Our review of the Medical Board of California disciplinary orders found that currently, over 400 California physicians are on probation for a range of offenses including substance abuse, sexual abuse, violence, patient deaths, incompetence, gross negligence and repeated negligent acts. Most doctors on probation are allowed to continue practicing medicine fully, including diagnosing and treating patients, performing surgeries, and delivering babies without telling their patients that they are on probation. Physicians who were placed on probation are far more likely to commit future offenses and endanger patients again. If your doctor is on probation and you don’t know it, you could be putting your life and well-being at risk.
You have a right to choose whether you want to see a doctor who is on probation, and that’s why we are announcing a campaign aimed at getting the Medical Board of California to require that doctors tell their patients when they are on probation. Next week we will launch an online petition targeted at the MBC that will empower Californians to take action and to share the petition with their friends and family. We are mobilizing activists in our California Safe Patient Network to help us get the job done. Right now, there is no requirement by the Medical Board of California –the agency that licenses and disciplines doctors in California—that doctors tell patients whether they have been disciplined and put on probation. California law gives the Medical Board the responsibility and the authority to impose requirements on physicians on probation. Yet, the Medical Board still fails to require doctors to tell their patients they are on probation. This is exactly the type of information that shouldn’t be kept secret.
It doesn’t occur to most patients to go to the Medical Board website to look up information about their doctor. Meanwhile, unsuspecting patients are seeing and being treated by doctors that may be jeopardizing their safety.
We need your help to pressure the Medical Board of California to act now to require that doctors tell their patients if they’re on probation. You can take action right now in the following ways: 1) Please share this blog post with your loved ones in California so that we can amp up the pressure; 2) If you’ve been harmed by a doctor, please share your story with us. 3) Join our Twitter discussion by using our hashtag #DocsOnProbation. Stay tuned for our petition next week and more campaign updates!