NC ratchets up doctor sanctions

It's crackdown time in North Carolina, which saw a nearly 30 percent increase in physicians disciplined by the state medical board last year. Critics had previously chastised the medical board for being too easy on doctors, but things have changed, with 171 physicians being disciplined in 2006. The total number of disciplinary actions has nearly tripled since 2002. Last year's jump isn't just a statistical anomaly, either. While the total number of doctors disciplined last year went up by nearly one-third, the number of doctors in the state only went up by 3 percent. Less than half of the disciplined doctors were based in North Carolina, with 87 practicing in other states but holding North Carolina medical licenses. North Carolina medical board members are responding, in part, to two highly publicized problems two years ago, in which questionable physicians slipped past the medical board's oversight. Since 2005, however, the board has increased its investigative staff and legal department.

To learn more about North Carolina's physician regulation:
- read this article from The News & Observer