Ariz. - In its new national rankings, the public watchdog group Public Citizen lists the Arizona Medical Board as the 6th best in the rate of disciplinary actions taken against doctors. Arizona‘s three-year average was 6.68 per thousand doctors based on 63 actions ordered by the Board in the 2004 calendar year. The national leader was Wyoming with 10.4 per thousand physicians; at the bottom was Hawaii with a rate of 1.44. Over the past ten years, Arizona has appeared in the top ten six times, and in 2003 was ranked Number One.
Public Citizen bases its rankings on data from the Federation of State Medical Boards on the number of disciplinary actions taken against doctors in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Unlike past years, the organization chose to use a three-year average “so that trends in rank over the past decade can more accurately be examined.”
Overall, there were 3,296 serious disciplinary actions take by state medical boards in 2004 – up 10.1% from 2003.
Public Citizen says data from the worst states again raise serious questions “about the extent to which patients in these states with poorer records of serious doctor discipline are being protected from physicians who might well be barred from practice in states with boards that are doing a better job of disciplining physicians.”
The Public Citizen report is available for review at: http://www.citizen.org/publications/print_release.cfm?ID=7380