February 22, 2009
Peter Lurie, M.D., M.P.H.
Sidney Wolfe, M.D.
This article was published in the Health Matrix journal.
We sought to describe doctor disciplinary information provided on the web sites of state medical and osteopathic boards. Information collected included state board, hospital and federal government actions, as well as malpractice judgments and settlements and conviction information. Web sites were also assessed for user-friendliness, primarily their searchability. Expert reviewers provided weights for these elements, yielding a 100-point score. The median score was 42.4 (range: 12.3-83.7). All sites provided physician profile information and 92% offer at least some board disciplinary information. Thirty-two percent provided non-state disciplinary information and 13 states’ web sites were not searchable. We conclude that some boards provide very limited information and many do not facilitate efficient consumer access. The findings were released on Public Citizen’s website on October 17, 2006.