For years we have known that the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice ranks dead last in the number of doctors it disciplines, compared to other states. We have also known that the Board declined to take any action against the University of Minnesota psychiatrists responsible for the suicide of Dan Markingson in an industry-funded clinical trial. But today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has published a remarkable investigation that shows just how lax the Board really is. Some highlights: a dermatologist who tried to perform a tummy-tuck on an employee while reading instructions from a medical book (his defense: "this employee was aware I would be performing the procedure for the first time"), and a Red River Valley physician who was sued so often he lost his malpractice insurance, usually for botched gastric bypass procedures, but who was allowed by the Board to continue practicing for years.
Since 2000, according to Glenn Howatt and Richard Meryhew of the Star Tribune, "at least 46 Minnesota doctors escaped board discipline after authorities in other states took action against their licenses for such missteps as committing crimes, patient care errors or having sexual or inappropriate relationships with patients, records show. In addition, more than half of the 74 doctors who lost their privileges to work in Minnesota hospitals and clinics over the past decade were never disciplined by the Minnesota board."
The Star Tribune report also includes a searchable database of doctors the Board has disciplined -- plus the 46 it failed to discipline, even after actions were taken against them in other states.