State medical boards have the responsibility to discipline physician misconduct, including physician medical malpractice. Historically, boards have been reluctant to publicize disciplinary actions, but now almost all states provide some form of information online. However, Public Citizen discovered that most medical board websites are not completely forthcoming!
5 states provide no disciplinary information and 8 states do not allow users to search for disciplinary actions. 20 states provide information about malpractice payouts and 16 provide information about criminal convictions. 14 states provide information about hospital disciplinary actions. In addition to omitting serious disciplinary actions, many state board websites leave out disciplinary actions taken against doctors by other states.
With state medical boards withholding information from the public, consumers are clearly denied a meaningful opportunity to make an informed choice about their treating physicians.