In California, it's taking longer for the state's Medical Board and the attorney general to suspend or revoke licenses of problem physicians. An average of two and a half year (934 days) passes from the time the medical board receives a complaint until completion of judicial review. About 488 of those days are spent investigating a complaint, while the rest of the time is spent waiting for a resolution to the case. Just a decade ago, it took only 788 days to carry out the same process.
So why the lag? A physician's medical license is consider to be his or her property and it can't be revoked without building a strong case against the defendant. "Judges don't like to easily take a property right, e.g., a medical license, without due process," said Medical Board spokeswoman Candis Cohen. Without proof that a physician is an immediate threat, judges won't issue a suspension of their license. In the meantime, physicians are allowed to continue practicing medicine, even though they could endanger patients.
- see this L.A. Times article