Tulsa World reports on disciplining doctors

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

More than 300 Oklahoma doctors have been disciplined by the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, according to an analysis of the board’s database by Tulsa World reporters Kim Archer and Gavin Off.

Their series focuses on “the consequences doctors face in Oklahoma for medical errors and unethical behavior” and looks at its program to help doctors with addictions. It also tells the stories of several disciplined doctors and reports on why Public Citizen has ranked the board as one of the ten best in the country.staff

Other stories in the series explain to consumers how to check a doctor’s history and get additional information when choosing a doctor. Off also writes about a federal database used to track incompetent and unprofessional health professionals. “Although the full database is open to hospitals, managed care organizations and state licensing agencies, the public can view only limited information, such as the lawsuit’s allegation and the patient’s health.”

Archer reports that few people who sue for malpractice in Oklahoma win their cases. “Some cases are settled out of court, but most of those cases come with nondisclosure agreements to protect doctors and health practitioners from being exposed, several Oklahoma malpractice lawyers told the Tulsa World.”

The World also made a searchable directory of doctors available on its Web site, though it does not include more than 1,600 osteopaths practicing in the state who are governed by the Oklahoma Osteopathic Board.

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