Despite having records of serious misconduct that puts patients at risk, thousands of doctors are still able to keep practicing even after they have severely injured and even caused the death of their patients. While some doctors were barred by hospitals and paid millions of dollars to resolve malpractice claims, many of those doctors were not stripped of their medical licenses, allowing them to continue practicing.
The state medical boards that are supposed to regulate physicians are often seen as slow to act, struggle to manage because of tight state budgets, and overall ineffective in improving patient care. For example, Jennifer Chaney’s death may have been prevented but for inefficiency of the state medical board. The Texas medical board was investigating Dr. Greggory Phillips for prescribing the wrong medication to a woman in his care in 2008. However, because the investigation took four years for the board to finally bar Dr. Phillips from seeing other patients, Dr. Phillips had already prescribed medication to Ms. Chaney that eventually led to an overdose and her death.
According to research, 52% (more than 3,000 doctors) were never fined or had their licenses restricted, suspended or revoked by a state medical board.
Repeat violations of patient safety rules, repeatedly violating standards of care and repeatedly causing serious injuries and death to patients should have consequences for any doctor who chooses to practice medicine this way – and they shouldn’t be allowed to.
As Burton LeBlanc, president of American Association for Justice, puts it, “Until a way is found for physicians to be effectively regulated…, bad doctors continuing to practice medicine will not go away.”
If you were harmed by substandard medical care or severely injured because of medical mistakes, call us today at (202)393-3320. Get the information you need to help protect yourself and your family.