The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice issues licenses to qualified physicians in Minnesota. It also handles disciplinary action in response to complaints regarding physicians and other licensed medical professionals under the jurisdiction of the Board.
The review process is straightforward, but understanding what to expect can make the review less intimidating for professionals facing formal complaints.
The review process
After an initial complaint, the Board may ask the license holder to respond to the complaint in writing. They may also gather patient records through a subpoena or authorized release. A Complaint Review Committee composed of two physicians and one public member reviews all the information available including the response from the licensee. Complaints are often dismissed after this stage. If further investigation is necessary, interviews with witnesses will occur.
If the Board determines that a physician may require discipline, the physician must appear before the Committee for a conference. An attorney from the office of the Minnesota Attorney General will be present for that conference along with additional members of the Board. The Committee will ask questions of the physician and allow the physician an opening and closing statement. If the Board dismisses the complaint, the process ends here.
Disciplinary measures available
If the Board determines that discipline is necessary, it has the power to enact many different disciplinary measures. The Board may:
- Revoke a license
- Suspend a license
- Revoke or suspend registration to perform interstate telemedicine
- Impose limitations or conditions on the scope and use of a license
- Impose a civil penalty
- Order a physician to provide unpaid professional services
- Reprimand or censure the physician
The disciplinary measure imposed is dependent upon the findings of the review.
Complaints may come from patients or family members of patients. Complaints may also come from medical institutions or employers who are under obligation to report actions that may require disciplinary action such as termination or loss of privileges.