What is a State Medical Board?

The nation’s 70 state medical and osteopathic regulatory boards — commonly referred to as state medical boards — work to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare through the proper licensing, disciplining and regulation of doctors. In addition to licensing doctors, state medical boards investigate complaints, discipline those who violate the law, conduct doctor evaluations and facilitate rehabilitation of doctors when appropriate. State medical boards also adopt policies and guidelines related to the practice of medicine to improve the overall quality of health care in the state.

As they fulfill their role of overseeing the practice of medicine in a state, state medical boards provide value for both patients and doctors. By following up on complaints and disciplining doctors when needed, state medical boards ensure public trust in the basic standards of competence and ethical behavior in their doctors. By striving to ensure that doctors have been properly trained and are maintaining their professional skills, state medical boards help protect the integrity of the medical profession. By defining the practice of medicine in a state, boards play an influential role in how medical care is delivered. 

One of the most important roles state medical boards play is serving as a repository of publicly available information about doctors. This information can be useful to consumers in helping them choose a doctor when they need medical care. State medical boards provide a valuable service to consumers who are seeking information about doctors by disclosing if they are currently licensed in good standing, if disciplinary action has ever been imposed, or if formal disciplinary charges are pending. The public can also inquire if the board has other public information in a doctor’s record, such as criminal convictions, sanctions taken by hospitals, and malpractice judgments and settlements.

To learn more about the resources your state medical provides, or to find out how to file a complaint against a doctor, contact your state medical board today.