NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 23, 2008

In Ohio, cases involving discipline for licensed medical practitioners are conducted in the open.  But in New York, such proceedings are held in secret, and findings are only made public if a doctor is convicted, says Newsday. 


  • Ohio is one of 40 states, according to a 2006 survey by the New York Public Interest Group, where once a doctor is formally charged, all proceedings are public.
  • Ohio has also conducted open doctor hearings since the 1920s.
  • The Public Citizen's Health Research Group in Washington, D.C., has rated Ohio third nationwide in 2005-2007 for serious actions against doctors.
  • New York ranked 19th.

In a pending bill proposed by New York Gov. David A. Paterson, charges against New York doctors -- now secret -- would become public.  However, no one in New York has proposed open doctor hearings, says Ochs.  Blair Horner, legislative director of the nonprofit NYPIRG, says he is hopeful Gov. Paterson\'s bill would become law, but he would push for open disciplinary hearings.

Jon Wills, executive director of the Ohio Osteopathic Association, says open hearings are important because they encourage transparency and educate people about the types of cases involved.  He adds that medical students from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Columbus last year began attending medical board hearings to see firsthand what can happen to doctors, especially those with drug or alcohol problems.

Source: Ridgely Ochs, "In Ohio, But Not New York, Doctor Discipline Is Public," Newsday, June 20, 2008.


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