Loss of Board Certification: Did you know that the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) did not violate a doctor's rights when it rescinded his certification due to a monitoring agreement? Dr. Steven Picard self-reported to Michigan's Health Professional Recovery Program (HPRP), but did not complete the program. As a result, the Michigan Department of Community Health temporarily suspended his license. The Michigan Board of Medicine and Dr. Picard entered into a consent order whereby Dr. Picard's license would be reinstated if he agreed to HPRP monitoring. However, the ABFM has a professionalism policy that requires physicians to maintain an unrestricted license, and viewed the monitoring agreement as a restriction. The ABFM rescinded Dr. Picard's certification, and a federal trial court stated that the ABFM had every right to do so.
Resigning During an Investigation: Did you know that actions that are not defined by a hospital's medical staff by-laws as investigations may still be considered as such for determining if a hospital must report a physician who has resigned during an investigation? A federal appellate court, in Doe v. Rogers, recently adopted a broad definition of "investigation" by applying an ordinary dictionary definition, namely a "systematic examination." Therefore, the court determined that the hospital's notes on a meeting about Dr. John Doe's incident, in which he removed the wrong body part during surgery, demonstrated that the hospital had begun a systematic examination of Doe's conduct. Specifically, the court considered the hospital gathering necessary documents, conferring with hospital executives, meeting with those involved, reporting the incident to the state health department, and organizing a team to conduct a Root Cause Analysis, to be activities that constituted an investigation."