10242017Headline:

St. Petersburg, Florida

HomeFloridaSt. Petersburg

Email Bob Carroll Bob Carroll on LinkedIn Bob Carroll on Twitter Bob Carroll on Facebook
Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
Contributor •

Florida's Board Of Medicine Not Doing Its Job

Comments Off

The Florida Board of Medicine is accused of inattention, delay, laxity and endangering patients in its monitoring of Florida physicians. The editorial from the Palm Beach Post uses the case of a Boynton Beach plastic surgeon to illustrate the Board’s ineptness.

Making Florida safe for medical malpractice

Florida needs a better system of monitoring the state’s 50,000 doctors, because the state Board of Medicine has proven physicians are unwilling to police themselves.

Floridians need a Board of Medicine that recognizes the need for disciplining doctors and is unafraid to carry out that responsibility. An effective medical board protects the profession and the public.

Dr. Mark Schreiber illustrates the public danger of a medical board that is slow to discipline and lax in its penalties.

The Florida Board of Medicine is accused of inattention, delay, laxity and endangering patients in its monitoring of Florida physicians. The editorial from the Palm Beach Post uses the case of a Boynton Beach plastic surgeon to illustrate the Board’s ineptness.

My experience has been that the Board has trouble even contemplating a breach of the medical standard of care or medical malpractice. It is hard for the Board to know it when it sees it because it avoids thinking about it.

Making Florida safe for medical malpractice

Florida needs a better system of monitoring the state’s 50,000 doctors, because the state Board of Medicine has proven physicians are unwilling to police themselves.

Floridians need a Board of Medicine that recognizes the need for disciplining doctors and is unafraid to carry out that responsibility. An effective medical board protects the profession and the public.

Dr. Mark Schreiber illustrates the public danger of a medical board that is slow to discipline and lax in its penalties.

The Boynton Beach plastic surgeon continues to practice, 3 1/2 years after state investigators concluded he wrongly performed a neck lift and hernia repair in his office and failed to ensure adequate care after the operation on a 70-year-old man who died two days later. That finding of culpability in a patient’s death was the doctor’s second in four years. He also has been sued eight times in the past 12 years, and his malpractice insurers have paid a total of $1 million in six cases. Is it any surprise that he no longer carries malpractice insurance?

The state Board of Medicine finally is scheduled to decide Dr. Schreiber’s punishment in the August 2002 death during a hearing next week. What has taken so long?

In the meantime, Dr. Schreiber has been arrested on an aggravated battery charge for inappropriately touching a female patient. The medical board suspended Dr. Schreiber’s license after the July 2005 arrest but dropped the one-month suspension when he promised to have a witness present each time he sees patients.

Inattention to such egregious violations leaves the public little confidence that the board – which consists of 12 doctors and three consumers – acts in favor of patient safety over physician protection. The state Department of Health reviews about 8,000 complaints against doctors each year in Florida. But the Board of Medicine typically takes 18 months or more to determine punishment after cases deemed valid are referred from the health department. In 2005, the board revoked 19 doctors’ licenses and suspended 47.

Penalties also favor physicians, not deterrence. Last month, the board reduced the punishment for surgeons who operate on the wrong body part or on the wrong patient. Instead of a minimum $10,000 fine and other penalties for the first offense, the board supports a maximum $10,000 fine.