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The JAMA Forum
July 24/31, 2018

Prognosis Is Guarded for California’s “Patient’s Right to Know Act”

Author Affiliations
  • 1Professor of Medical Science and former dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island
JAMA. 2018;320(4):329-330. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9100

Historically, most patients have been unaware that if their physician or other licensed clinician has been on probation for such reasons as substance abuse, sexual misconduct, or avoidable medical errors, it’s up to them to seek that information out. Fewer still know enough to probe the website of the relevant state medical board.

But now, the public is clamoring for change. A recent survey of more than 1200 adults by Consumer Reports revealed that 82% of patients favor probationary status disclosure by medical licensees. Chief among the patient grievances is the discovery that the placement of licensees on probation is never communicated directly to patients. In contrast, hospitals, clinics, and malpractice carriers are routinely apprised.

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