employment — legal
Anatomy of a Board Complaint Steven B. Perlmutter, MD, JD
hances are if you practice medicine long enough, you will have a board complaint filed against you at some point in your career. When you receive that letter, it will be a disturbing experience. A board complaint ranks high among the sources of anxiety and anger, perhaps only second to IRS letters and medical malpractice claims.
Of all those in healthcare-related fields, physicians have the most emotionality about board complaints. Doctors take these complaints personally, and who can blame them? A doctor spends the majority of his or her time and energy
creating favorable outcomes for patients. A complaint by a patient or another physician is a personal affront. It is an attack against one’s integrity. Moreover, it is an attack against your license, your privilege to practice medicine, your livelihood, and your future.
Board complaints are sometimes a thinly veiled test balloon floated by a plaintiff’s medical malpractice attorney. If the board sides with the injured party against the physician, there is a strong impetus to file a medical malpractice claim. After all, if a board comprised of mostly doctors thinks you are negligent, won’t a jury come to the same conclusion?
32 • Round-up • A monthly publication of the Maricopa County Medical Society • June 2014