In California, there was a proposed legislation that would add 2 seats so that a majority of members for the Medical Licensing Board would be consumers rather than doctors.
This is an interesting proposition. However, in my experience, the consumer Board member does not contribute as much because they haven’t worked in the nurses’ or the doctors’ shoes.
Evidently, the public is very suspicious of the Medical Board in California because of several complaints by patients against doctors that seemed substantial where the doctor received no disciplinary action.
In fact, one member of the public stated, “My husband lost his hands and feet, and this physician has a spotless record.”
Adding more public members or making a public member majority would, “Obtain more transparency and data with regard to the Board’s enforcement process, and how it makes decisions.”
However, I do not think that this legislation was enacted.
Apparently, the Board settles 84% of its cases and 54% of those stipulated settlements failed to meet the disciplinary guidelines, yet no action is taken.
There was also another allegation against a former chief pediatrician over some 20 years as the pediatrician allegedly had sexually abused boys. No action was taken against this physician.
What is so interesting is the California Board of Registered Nursing and the Medical Board are polar opposites. The Medical Board is “the good old boys’ club” whereas the BRN is eating their young.
It would be interesting to see in the states that have medical boards oversee nurse practitioners, if it would make a difference in the outcomes. Would nurse practitioners be part of the medical board’s good old boys’ club or treated just as harshly as they are by many of the nursing boards?
I suspect this issue is not over in California.
There was a shakeup in California several years ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor, where the California Board of Registered Nursing delayed taking action against nurses accused of misconduct. The then Governor Schwarzenegger replaced most of the BRN members. The BRN has been much more aggressive because they don’t want to be removed as in the Schwarzenegger era. Yet recently the former director of the BRN, Joseph Morris, resigned after there were allegations of sexual harassment from state employees.
What else is new? It’s California!
Anne LLewellyn says
Interesting. When Florida was trying to get the Nursing Compact into law, many of my nursing colleagues when to several Florida Board of Nursing Disciplinary Meetings. It was an eye opening experience. The people on the Board were all nurse leaders from academia, and other leadership positions. The cases they heard were difficult cases. It is hard for me to think that ‘non-nurse consumers’ could determine the outcome such decision – But as we move toward more a consumer focused healthcare system, maybe it is good….for the public to have a say into nursing practice. It will be interesting to watch. Keep us posted.
LORIE A BROWN, R.N., M.N., J.D. says
Indiana actually has one consumer member. One was extremely harsh. Former FBI. She was an adamant advocate for the consumers.
Nurse Undone says
The most egregious cases in AZ have nothing to do with nursing . Absolutely nothing except that the person who had the false allegations has a license . The open board position is not advertised, it is current members and staff who scout out the replacements , after those who are on the Bd are being termed out , which is over 10 years. So if you appealed a decision , those who were on the BD , are listed as defendants in the appeal , and now they are going to rule in your favor ?
The members on the BON who have licenses , are not actively working in nursing anyways. The investigators are mostly non nurses as well.