Setback Regarding Doctor Licensing Requirements Prompts Concerns

Dealing with a licensed provider is important in all sorts of fields, because licensing helps ensure that the professional working for you meets certain standards. These can range from training and ability to continuing education that keeps the professional up to date on all the latest techniques and innovations. One of the most important areas to have strict licensing requirements is the medical field.

According to Anesthesiology News, many people are hurt by medical malpractice in Ohio every year because the doctor was inexperienced or unqualified, and one would hope everything possible is being done to make sure all physicians are capable of providing top-notch care. A recent initiative to expand the requirements for Ohio physicians was dealt a severe setback when the State Medical Board of Ohio chose to pull out of a pilot project created to evaluate the program. It's a concerning development for Ohio residents who have every right to expect professional, appropriate care when they visit a doctor.

The Maintenance of Licensure Program

The initiative is the Maintenance of Licensure, or MOL, program, created by the Federation of State Medical Boards, or FSMB, a national nonprofit organization that represents the 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the United States and its territories.

On the FSMB site, it refers to the MOL as "a framework for medical license renewal that recognizes the value of continuous professional development, including practice-relevant continuing medical education, [and] it supports a physician's commitment to lifelong learning and contributes to improved health care."

As noted in a December 2012 article on the Anesthesiology News website, the FSMB recommended a new maintenance of licensure framework in April 2010. Under the framework, physicians must pass periodic tests of their skills and knowledge and must demonstrate performance standards based on data from their practices.

Presently, Ohio licensing boards (and those in many other states) require doctors applying for renewal to provide proof of continuing medical education and updated information about training, certifications and malpractice claims.

Several Ohio Physicians Associations Don't See the Need for Change

As noted in the Anesthesiology News piece, the new proposed framework has many critics who consider it unneeded. Eleven Ohio medical societies and associations recommended that Ohio not participate in the pilot study, the article reported.

The article quoted a Cleveland anesthesiologist who criticized what he called the medical boards' "intrusions" and "lies." The FSMB president told the website that Ohio's decision not to cooperate would not hinder the MOL initiative, which is progressing in nine other states.

While it's understandable that a professional might object to additional criteria to maintain licensure, Ohio residents deserve the best medical care available. Improved licensing methods might help reduce the unfortunate number of medical malpractice cases throughout the state. Anyone who has received improper or insufficient care from a physician should be aware of one's rights in a court of law.