Patients interested in checking on their doctor’s history have the Medical Board of California now encouraging them to do so.
According to San Francisco Business Times, the Board recently began a public relations campaign urging the public to take advantage of online resources for checking the status of their doctors’ license to practice medicine, and history of discipline taken against that license.
Patients can go to www.mbc.ca.gov and click on “verify a license.” From there, users can select “physician and surgeon” from the list of license types and search for their doctor by name.
The information will be far from a complete portrait of a doctor’s abilities. For instance, it will not show instances where patients complained of care that was poor or substandard but did not result in a filing of a lawsuit, or cases where an action was filed but the Medical Board decided against discipline.
A petition filed by Consumers Union earlier in October will be the subject of a public hearing on Oct. 30. It would require doctors currently on probation to inform their patients. At the moment, nearly 500 California physicians are on probation, for actions ranging from sexual misconduct and substance abuse to gross negligence. Few patients ever find out when the board puts their doctors on probation, according to the Times article.