Ariz. - Patrick Connell, M.D., FACEP – who served as Chairman of the Arizona Medical Board from 2001 to 2003 – is completing his second, five year term that will expire on June 30th. He was one of eight physician members. Then-Governor Fife Symington appointed him in 1997. All 12 Medical Board members are appointed by the governor, and the State Senate confirms the appointments.
At the Medical Board meeting on June 7, Board Chair William R. Martin, III, M.D., presented Dr. Connell with a plaque expressing the agency's appreciation for his years of service.
During his ten years on the Board, Dr. Connell has seen considerable progress made in a number of areas. “When I started on the Board, all of our Board material was in giant loose leaf notebooks which were cumbersome, difficult to use.” He added, “The use of computers for board material has made our job easier and more precise.”
Improvements, he said, have also come in the area of investigations. “There has been a complete rethinking and redesign of the investigative process which is fairer to both the complainant and defendant physician,” Dr. Connell said.
Since the mission of the Medical Board is protect public health and safety, Dr. Connell noted that the agency has made important changes in its Monitored Aftercare Program (MAP) for impaired physicians. “We have restructured the MAP program to make it more consistent, more effective, more accountable, and, for first time offenders who self -report, more confidential.”
Dr. Connell believes his time on the Medical Board was well-spent. “I believe that we have become a much more effective and fair agency in my ten years of service with better accountability to the public and the profession. I am proud to have served with a number of hard-working and involved board members and an effective and diligent agency staff.”
Dr. Connell had recently resigned from an active urban emergency department practice. He is board-certified in Emergency Medicine and is currently working part time in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. He also volunteers his time at a medical clinic in Honduras.
Dr. Connell has held a number of professional leadership positions. He has worked with the American College of Emergency Physicians as a member of the Practice Management Committee and has assisted in policy development for the college. He is a past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians and has served on that Board for ten years. And he has been a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians since 1983.
Dr. Connell received his medical degree at the University of Arizona in 1974.