Medical board says inappropriate mask exemptions may subject physicians to discipline

August 17, 2021

Faced with reports of rogue physicians selling bogus mask exemptions, the Medical Board of California has issued a statement informing licensees that physicians who grant a mask or other exemption without conducting an appropriate prior exam and without a finding of a legitimate medical reason supporting such an exemption within the standard of care may be subject to disciplinary action.

The California Medical Association (CMA) is deeply troubled by reports that a few rogue physicians have decided to ignore the science surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and place the lives of children and their families in danger.

“There are very few medical reasons and situations that would exempt an individual from masking requirements. It strains credulity to think that a single physician would have dozens or hundreds of patients with valid medical claims for such an exemption,” said CMA President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D.  “Unfortunately, we know there are bad actors who are willing to operate outside the accepted standards of care in order to turn a personal profit. This needs to stop.”

The medical board encourages the public to file a complaint if they feel that a physician is granting mask exemptions inappropriately. Complaints can be submitted on the board’s website at www.mbc.ca.gov.

“Physicians have an obligation and a duty to uphold the oath we all take when we assume the awesome responsibility of practicing medicine. We need strong, immediate action to ensure bad actors are not given carte blanche to interpret the law as they wish," said Dr. Bretan.


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