Today, many patients seek information about a potential medical health professional via a Google search, which often reveals a hospital or doctors’ office profile and, occasionally, records of malpractice. In Massachusetts, this is not necessarily the case. An investigation by Northeastern University revealed that the state-often considered a leader in medical education and care-has fallen behind many other states in its accessibility to information about doctor misconduct and medical malpractice.
As Boston.com states,
For example, there have been 35 criminal convictions of Massachusetts doctors since 2002. In most states, such convictions are posted permanently online; in Massachusetts, not one is listed in the state medical board database.
Massachusetts was the first state (in 1996) where doctors’ profiles became public.
Today, however, the state medical board removes certain misconduct records-faking study results, assaulting a nurse, groping patients-from doctors’ profiles, so they are inaccessible to the public. There are also issues with information accessibility between states; for example, a doctor charged with misconduct with one state or who lost her license in one state might be able to obtain a license in another state with past misconduct not revealed. The obvious question is: WHY? In an age where informed consent forms are a must, we find this information puzzling, if not appalling.
If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice or dental malpractice, contact a seasoned Boston personal injury attorney to seek legal advice and further investigation into your case.
Once a model, state medical board lags badly, Boston.com, March 18, 2012.