Holding doctors accountable for errors and misconduct is critical to ensuring that patients receive quality medical care. State medical boards are responsible for disciplining doctors who do not live up to the standards of their profession. While some states are relatively lenient in how they discipline doctors, Delaware takes doctor discipline very seriously.
Delaware has the highest percentage of doctor disciplinary actions in the United States, according to a recent study. This study, titled Variations by state in physician disciplinary actions by US medical licensure boards looked at disciplinary actions against doctors from 2010-2014. Over this time frame, Delaware was had the most disciplinary actions per capita and the most serious disciplinary actions per capita.
A closer look at the numbers
Across the United States, doctors were disciplined at roughly 3.75 doctors per 1,000 in the years studied. Of these actions, 1.15 doctors per 1,000 received serious discipline. Per the study, serious discipline involves the suspension or revocation of a doctor's license, or the doctor surrendering his or her license.
In Delaware, the disciplinary rate over this time period was nearly eight doctors per 1,000 each year. This was the highest rate among all states, with Ohio and Kentucky just behind Delaware. The lowest disciplinary rate was Massachusetts, which disciplined roughly two doctors per 1,000.
Delaware also had the highest rates of serious disciplinary actions, with roughly 2.75 doctors per 1,000 receiving serious discipline from 2010-2014. New York had the lowest rate of serious disciplinary action, with 0.64 doctors per 1,000 receiving serious disciplinary action.
While Delaware's numbers may be skewed somewhat due to our state's relatively small population, it is still a good sign that physicians across the state are held responsible for their misconduct. If you or someone you love has been injured by a doctor's negligence, a medical malpractice lawsuit can help you get the financial resources you need to move forward with your life. For years, people across the state have relied on the medical malpractice lawyers of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP. Call 888-395-7576 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Source: Variations by state in physician disciplinary actions by US medical licensure boards, John Alexander Harris, M.D., Elena Byhoff, M.D., BMJ Quality & Safety