Doctors on Probation Aren’t Required to Disclose Deadly Medical Mistakes to Patients

May 14, 2017

NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit
By Bigad Shaban, Jeremy Carroll and Kevin Nious

If your doctor was disciplined for harming other patients, would you want to know?

In California, the state Medical Board is responsible for protecting patients from dangerous doctors. More than 600 physicians and surgeons across the state are currently on probation for a wide-range of violations including sexual assault, insurance fraud, and medical negligence that has resulted in the deaths of patients. Despite the severity of such violations, the Medical Board does not require doctors to notify their patients of their probation status. According to the board, disclosing such details would “harm the patient-doctor relationship.”

The Medical Board has come under fire in recent months for what some are calling a lack of oversight. In February, several patients and their families gathered at the state capital to express their anger and testify before legislators.

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