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Medical Malpractice is the third leading cause of death in America.  What may be even more disturbing is the lack of discipline for those responsible.

In New York, complaints about physicians and practitioners are investigated by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC). However, 60% of OPMC actions were reliant on findings from other states.  That means that more than half of the time that New York State actually takes disciplinary action against a doctor licensed to practice here it is because another state took action first.  Reports show that over 77% of New York doctors that have been sanctioned by the OPMC for negligence continue to practice.

Analysis of data from the National Practitioner Data Bank shows that state medical boards nationwide failed to discipline 55% of doctors who had been sanctioned by hospitals. Even when significant actions were taken by the hospitals against serious offenses, state boards did nothing. Similarly, studies also show that over 3,000 physicians with a permanent penalty on their clinical privileges received no form of discipline from the state medical board.

Considering these facts, along with the New England Journal of Medicine findings of that approximately 1% of all physicians accounted for 32% of paid malpractice claims it is clear that a small percentage of doctors account for the majority of malpractice. When a doctor has been shown to have committed malpractice on more than one occasion wouldn’t it make sense for the OPMC to require retraining so they do not make the same mistakes again?

What do you think?

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