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!