Novel Insight into the Quality of Assessment of Physicians

Brett Snodgrass

In the United States of America, medical regulation of physicians is overseen by state medical boards (SMBs). SMBs are considered to be the gatekeepers of medical practice. They ensure that only competent physicians are licensed and practicing, and they make certain that doctors act in a professional manner. To effectively regulate the practice of medicine, an SMB must have sufficient knowledge to discern between negligent or unwarranted patient care, and the provision of excellent care. This report, from Missouri, describes the repeated failure of the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (SBRHA) in distinguishing safe and effective coronary artery stenting from unnecessary stenting. The SBRHA repeatedly demonstrated a critical lack of competent medical knowledge. Their staff committed conduct, which was unethical and fraudulent, and were not given proper supervision by physicians. The SBRHA intentionally misrepresented important evidence to make their court case appear more robust than it actually was. They also tried to have the testimony from their expert witness stricken from the record because it did not support their case. This report highlights a fundamental failing of medical regulation by the SBRHA, and policymakers would be prudent to consider legislative reform of medical regulation.reform of medical regulation.