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DATE: 5/4/2006
Medical Board Resolves Case Backlog While Focusing on Serious Complaints

Scottsdale, Ariz. - Citizens can expect the Arizona Medical Board to complete investigations in less than 180 days - the goal the State Auditor General set for all regulatory boards. For each of the past three months, the Medical Board has met the goal. “This demonstrates the tremendous effort by Board Members and Staff to complete thorough investigations within the timeframe,” explained Executive Director Timothy C. Miller. Diligent work by investigators and medical consultants has also reduced the caseload to 509.

The Arizona Medical Board carefully investigates complaints against physicians. The majority of complaints filed with the Board are dismissed because there was no violation of law. But when the Board determines there has been misconduct, the Medical Board takes disciplinary action. A citizens‘ watchdog group has recognized this and has once again ranked Arizona among the top ten states that take serious disciplinary action against physicians with significant violations of the Medical Practice Act.

In its report on state medical boards, Public Citizen‘s Health Research Group ranks Arizona among the “Best States” � those with the highest rates of serious disciplines. It places Arizona fifth among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in the rate of serious disciplinary actions during the period 2003 to 2005. Further, it cites Arizona as one of six states that have been in the top 10 for at least six of the last 10 years.

“Public Citizens‘ recognition of the Board's record for disciplining physicians who commit misconduct should reassure the public that the Board takes appropriate actions to protect them,” stated Robert P. Goldfarb, M.D., F.A.C.S., Chairman of the Arizona Medical Board. “Physicians should be reassured the Board does not hesitate to dismiss cases when an appropriate and thorough investigation finds no misconduct.”