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In New York, 77% of doctors that have commited medical malpractice are allowed to continue to practice

Questionable%20Doctors.jpgWhen a doctor is sanctioned for medical malpractice in New York there is a high probability that he will be able to continue to practice. There is also a good chance that his patients will never know about their doctor’s punishment. A recent NYPIRG report entitled “Questionable Doctors” shows that the New York State Department of Heath’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) is not doing enough to protect patients. The report also proposes recommendations for improvement.

The report found that:

  • 77% of the doctors that have been sanctioned for medical malpractice in New York State can continue to practice
  • it is highly unlikely that New York patients know if their physician has been sanctioned because the information is too hard to find
  • close to 60% of New York State actions against doctors were based on sanctions taken by other states, the federal government, or the courts, and not as the result of an OPMC investigation
  • over the past 10 years New York’s population grew by 2% while New York’s number of doctors grew by 36%
  • The Health Department hasn’t updated its report on OPMC’s physician discipline activities since 2010

The report implies that too few doctors are being disciplined and not enough are being sanctioned for medical malpractice and proposes the following recommendations to improve patient safety:

  • Physicians to provide patients with easy access to their profile and background information
  • create a consumer assistance office