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Doctor crosses state lines to practice after losing license

All too often, a doctor who makes a serious mistake is able to avoid detection and punishment by moving to a new state. What is worse is that this type of activity seems to happen on a semi-regular basis in the U.S. and the ones who pay are the patients. The following blog is about one doctor's surgical errors and how she was able to keep practicing medicine by crossing state lines. Maryland patients might find the details of this particular case eye-opening.

According to a recent report, a physician with multiple pending lawsuits is just now appearing on the radar of regulators where she currently resides. In addition to the pending litigation, the doctor is also accused of failing to report the denial of her license to the state board. Her license was denied after regulators reviewed the doctor's surgical records and identified multiple surgical errors. In an agreement with the state, the doctor allowed her license to expire.

The hospital where the woman works has been supportive of the doctor. According to the hospital, the doctor has performed well under the supervision of senior physicians and the hospital does not seem to be concerned about her performance at this time. The hospital, however, also stated that the woman does not currently perform neurosurgical procedures at the hospital. She does, however, provide care for patients with neurological disorders in an inpatient basis.

While the hospital may not be concerned with doctor's performance, what is alarming is how easy it was for the doctor to fly under the radar after losing her license. If a patient received a serious injury or worse while in the doctor's care, the hospital and the physician can be held liable for those injuries under a medical malpractice theory. No one should have to worry that the only reason his or her doctor is practicing in the state is because the doctor is not allowed to practice elsewhere.

Source: Rockford Register Star, "Doctor sued in Rockford had trouble in Colorado, too," Melissa Westphal, Dec. 18, 2012

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