Maryland Board of Physicians: Competence Questioned

22 Nov

Maryland Board of Physicians: competence questioned

Hard to believe, yet true,  that the Maryland State Legislature has finally awoken from their comas and audited the Maryland Board of Physicians. Numerous articles by this author have appeared in this column describing the sheer incompetence of this administrative authority. Extreme efforts by the Board’s administrative staff are utilized to circumvent state law, mandate and regulatory structure to bring charges against physicians. More egregious, the attorneys for the board, assigned from the Attorney General’s Office, have fabricated charges to wreak havoc on physicians’ careers. Implications from several sources flesh out the fact that the Board is attempting to increase the number of sanctions they divvy out, in order to make their standings look better amongst other state medical boards. One must suspend disbelief for a moment to understand that the Maryland Board of Physicians has quotas to fill, requiring they sanction a certain number of physicians each year. This horrific thought is compounded by the irreverent methodologies they use to cite physicians. In 2003, the Maryland Legislature amended the Board’s structure increasing the number of members from 15 to 21, with 40% of its membership non-physician. By diluting the competence of this administrative authority its expertise to review complex medical issues was brought to new lows. Several recent notorious cases were allowed to boil over before they raised an eyebrow, making the Maryland Board of Physicians reactive not proactive. Worse, the board has not promulgated clear rules of practice allowing them to makeup rules as they proceed with their sanctioning process. A recent case debased by the Court of Special Appeals (No. 2587, September Term, 2009, Maryland State Board of Physicians v. Mark Davis) is indicative of the judicial rubberstamp that the Board holds over physicians. Judges Krauser’s, Wright’s and Salmon’s determination was the exact opposite of two lower courts. In a link attached to this article entitled Injustice Maryland Style, it elaborates why physicians, especially those who go pro se, will find that a Board’s case, no matter how fallacious, will find victory in the courts. The Maryland State Legislature has fallen behind on its duties to protect its citizens of whom physicians are part of that population. Maryland Board of Physicians should be disbanded and reconstituted with physicians who are not politically motivated. The Attorney General’s Office should have a limited role in the Board’s affair. Finally, the Maryland Board of Physicians should have more intense oversight by the legislature and an independent agency, yet to be named, to fix the many wrongs this Board has perpetrated.  Mark Davis, MD president of Healthnets Review Services, platomd@gmail.com   http://www.markdavismd.com

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