Physician Licensing and Disciplining: Lessons from Indiana

26 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2019 Last revised: 2 Oct 2020

See all articles by Jing Liu

Jing Liu

East China University of Political Science and Law

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: October 1, 2020

Abstract

State medical boards use professional licensing and discipline to enforce minimum performance standards. Using 43 years of data (1972-2015) obtained from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, we examine the performance of the disciplinary process. Only a small number (1.2%) of the 63,485 physicians in our dataset were disciplined. Three forms of misconduct (drug diversion, substance abuse, and sex) account for 60% of all disciplinary actions. Male physicians are at higher risk for disciplinary action for sexual misconduct and drug diversion, but not for other types of misconduct. Graduates of non-U.S. medical schools have the same overall risk of disciplinary action as physicians who attended medical school in the U.S., but this is the result of averaging a significantly lower risk of discipline for alcohol abuse and drug abuse with a significantly higher risk of discipline for negligence/incompetence and sexual misconduct. Among graduates of non-U.S. medical schools, physicians who attended a medical school in the Caribbean have a significantly higher risk of negligence/incompetence. The risk of disciplinary action varies greatly by specialty, and sanction severity varies greatly by offense type.

Keywords: physician discipline, disciplinary sanctions, licensure, quality of care

Suggested Citation

Liu, Jing and Hyman, David A., Physician Licensing and Disciplining: Lessons from Indiana (October 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2816665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2816665

Jing Liu (Contact Author)

East China University of Political Science and Law

Shanghai, Shanghai
China

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
56
Abstract Views
579
rank
525,513
PlumX Metrics