Hospital CMO steps down after expired medical license surfaces

The chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs of Northwest Community Hospital (Ill.) recently resigned after a poor performance review revealed he was not licensed to practice medicine, Crain's Chicago Business reported Monday. This information comes to light amid Northwest Community Hospital's notable absence in the merger market in the Chicago area.

A spokesperson for Northwest defended former CMO Leighton Smith, arguing that Smith's duties were strictly administrative and that he did not require a renewed medical license because he did not treat patients. Northwest executives confirmed they were aware that Smith was unlicensed when he was hired. The state of Illinois has no law mandating that a CMO must hold a valid medical license. Northwest faces embarrassing setbacks as an unlicensed chief medical officer leaves the hospital more susceptible to lawsuits, particularly in malpractice, according to the article. Critics now call into question the quality of care provided at Northwest during Smith's time as chief medical officer given his perceived lack of medical qualifications. Article

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