Doctor’s path shows licensing’s weaknesses

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Associated Press’ Jay Reeves exposes systemic flaws in state medical licensing through the story of a physician who was twice accused of sexual misconduct and thrice fired in Tennessee, and who subsequently set up shop in Alabama, where he has been charged with rape and possession of child pornography.
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The doctor’s offenses had never been reported to regulators, and he seems to have been able to repeatedly outrun his transgressions. Reeves reports that unfortunate situations like this are not unusual:

Patient safety advocate and consultant Ilene Corina said states too often let troubled doctors move and switch jobs when they get in trouble.

“There is not sufficient oversight in many cases,” said Corina, of Long Island, N.Y., a board member of the National Patient Safety Foundation. “Is it a problem? Absolutely.”

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