Complaint / review text:
Ohio State Board of Medicine routinely violates the due process and other constitutional rights of physicians who are under investigation. Physicians aren't given an opportunity to seek legal counsel before an interview with an investigator. They are forced to incriminate themselves b/c cooperation is demanded. They aren't given the presumption of innocence. If the Board can't find any reason to pursue an investigation, it accuses the physician of impairment. It then orders physicians to submit to costly "consultations" by Board approved providers, initially a 2 hour psychiatric consult followed routinely by 72 hour long in-patient evaluations by "Addiction Specialists." These specialists are paid by the Rehab hospitals and are pressured to diagnose the practitioners with alcoholism or drug addiction (or deep denial) and to recommend a minimum of 28 days of expensive and confining in-patient care at the very hospital where the evaluation is done. If the practitioner refuses because the treatment is unwarranted or the cost unaffordable (or both), the Board summarily suspends the practitioner's license and divulges sensitive, private personal protected health information in a public forum for all to see. The practitioner doesn't have the opportunity for a hearing or presentation of his/her case until after his or her career has been destroyed.
If the practitioner agrees to be "incarcerated" in order to keep their license, he/she is forced into a Christian-based 2-step program that includes submission to a personified God and recitation of the Lord's prayer and the alcoholic's serenity prayer. Throughout this whole time, the practitioner is pressured to publicly "admit" every day to being an alcoholic or addict and to attend irrelevant lectures. If the practitioner survives his or her "reeducation" physically and emotionally, he/she is forced to submit to rigorous out-patient addiction treatment including DAILY participation in AA and AA-related activities, random drug and alcohol screens, limitations or indefinite suspension of license and psychiatric care. Yet, after all that, there is no guarantee that the practitioner will get an unrestricted license, altho there is certainty that his or her career is in shambles. This is the way the Board operates routinely, with impunity and with no oversight b/c the Board's reputation is based on the percent of practicing physicians that it disciplines on a yearly basis. Meanwhile, Ohio has a serious shortage of practicing physicians to care for an ever increasing and complex patient population. So, in the name of protecting the public, the Board is needlessly and routinely depriving the public of the expertise, experience and care of their physicians and routinely depriving physicians, not just of their civil rights, but their human rights as well.