Medical board commissions review of ethnic demographics of its disciplinary actions

February 20, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Licensing & Regulatory Issues Medical Board of California 

The Medical Board of California has commissioned a non-partisan, third-party review of the board’s disciplinary data by ethnic demographics to determine whether there are disparities in disciplinary actions. 

The data review was sparked by requests from the Golden State Medical Association (GSMA). At the February 2014 medical board meeting, Katrina Peters, M.D., current GSMA president and California Medical Association (CMA) member, testified that a number of GSMA members have expressed concerns that African-American physicians have been targeted and received discipline from the medical board in higher numbers than other comparable ethnic groups.

CMA has been urging the medical board to conduct this kind of analysis, not just by ethnicity, but by geographic area and specialty, so that any outlier groups can be targeted for increased education. CMA recognizes the need for promoting ethnic diversity in the physician workforce. Disparities in disciplinary actions could negatively impact ethnic diversity within the physician community; therefore, CMA supports the medical board's actions to study this issue.

The review of disciplinary actions will be conducted by the California Research Bureau, which provides nonpartisan research services to the Governor and his staff, to both houses of the Legislature and to other elected state officials.

Contact: Yvonne Choong, (916) 551-2884 or ychoong@cmadocs.org.

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