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Media Fact Sheet

  About the Board:

  • The Board is comprised of 12 members: 8 physicians and 4 public members, including a licensed registered nurse. The Governor appoints each Board member.
  • The Board meets regularly, every other month. Special meetings may be called when the Board discusses a Summary Suspension, current legislative issues, or other pressing discussion items.
  Common Terms Used During Board meetings:
  • Formal Interview: A formal interview is a forum for the physician to appear before the Board and discuss the facts of the case. A physician may choose whether to attend a formal interview or have the case heard at a formal hearing. At the conclusion of a formal interview, the Board may request that a Board Order be drafted reflecting its decision. The Board may also choose to issue an advisory letter or dismiss a case without merit.
  • Formal Hearing: Formal hearings are sent to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). It is a full evidentiary hearing, like in civil courts. The ALJ hears the case, makes a recommendation and refers the case back to the Board for consideration. For media guidelines on cameras in the courtroom, visit: http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/publicInfo/mediaGuide/mediaGuide.asp.
  • Summary Suspension/Restriction: A Summary Suspension/Restriction is an option to immediately suspend or restrict a doctor's license to practice medicine when the doctor poses an imminent danger to the public health and safety. If the Board takes this action, it is required to serve the doctor with a written notice that states the charges and informs the doctor that he/she is entitled to a hearing as expeditiously as possible. The law regards this as an extraordinary and punitive state administrative agency action. Consequently, the Board must establish and have in its administrative record substantial and reliable evidence to support the Board's conclusion that the doctor poses an imminent danger to the public health and safety.
Adjudication Process:
  • There are three stages most complaints follow before final case resolution. They are: (1) Investigation, (2) Staff Investigational Review Committee (SIRC). SIRC reviews cases to ensure that the alleged conduct would be a violation of Medical Practice Act and that there has been a complete investigation. SIRC then prepares a factual analysis of the issues presented and makes recommendations for Board consideration, and (3) Board meeting. The Board makes a final determination of all cases, including those referred from a formal hearing.
  • During any one of these stages, the case may be forwarded to the Executive Director for action. The Executive Director may dismiss the case, enter into an agreement for practice limitation, enter into an interim agreement while the case proceeds, or issue an interim investigative order.