Physician Licensing and Disciplining: Lessons from Indiana

13 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2016

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: July 31, 2016

Abstract

State medical boards use professional licensing and discipline to enforce minimum performance standards. Using forty-four years of data (1972-2015) on physician licensing and discipline obtained from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, we identify factors associated with a higher likelihood of being discipline. Only 1.3% of the sixty-three thousand licensed physicians in our dataset were disciplined. The most common reasons for disciplinary action were drug-diversion (25%); incompetence (18%); drug abuse (17%), alcohol-abuse (10%), and sexual misconduct (9%). The most common disciplinary sanctions were probation (26%); suspension (25%); and revocation (17%). Regression analyses indicated that the following factors were associated with a higher likelihood of being disciplined: male gender; earlier license year; holding more Controlled Substance Registrations; and specializing in family medicine/general practice, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology. Psychiatrists, obstetricians and gynecologists are especially likely to be sanctioned for sexual offenses; family physicians or general practitioners for drug-diversion; and anesthesiologists for substance abuse. Negligence or incompetence cases are less likely to be severely sanctioned. Research continues on the degree of overlap between the medical malpractice and disciplinary systems.

Suggested Citation

Liu, Jing and Hyman, David A., Physician Licensing and Disciplining: Lessons from Indiana (July 31, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2816667

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

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