The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline receives complaints from a variety of sources, including patients, pharmacists, other physicians, malpractice insurers, licensed facilities, and law enforcement.
Being the subject of a complaint is uncomfortable, but the complaint process is an important element in the effort to maintain the public's trust.
Many physicians appropriately seek legal counsel.
The BMLD cannot recommend an attorney.
It is common for physicians to contact their malpractice insurance carrier or their employer's risk manager to find a qualified attorney.
All communications from the BMLD throughout the entire adjudication process will be sent to the physician, not the attorney.
Physician submits response to RIDOH within 30 days.
The physician's response to RIDOH should include all appropriate medical records.
If additional time is needed, a one-time, 30-day extension may be granted upon request.
If medical records are maintained elsewhere (hospital, other facility), the BMLD can subpoena the patient's medical record(s). If the physician needs a copy of medical records, a copy can be subpoenaed by the BMLD or by the physician's attorney.
The IC conducts its review in closed session (not open to the public).
If the IC determines the physician needs to appear before the IC, the matter is tabled until the physician can appear. A request to appear before the IC is usually sent by letter, but it can be sent by a subpoena.
The Investigative Committee (IC) is a committee of the full BMLD. The IC can recommend one of the following:
No Unprofessional Conduct (NUPC): no apparent violation
NUPC with a non-disciplinary letter: no apparent violation with addition of letter from the BMLD
Non-disciplinary letter with no decision: acknowledgment from BMLD, may offer advice to physician
Administratively Close: may be revisited later when new information appears
Unprofessional Conduct: there appears to be a violation of law; findings of fact and recommended sanctions are determined
If the full Board approves the IC's recommendation, any administrative action is completed and the case is closed.
If the full Board rejects the IC's recommendation(s), the case is sent to another IC for review.