The nations state medical boards took slightly more disciplinary actions against doctors in 2008 than they did in 20075,379 last year compared with 5,319but the number of license revocations, suspensions and other actions such as forcing mandatory retirement, are still down from previous years totals when 5,574 actions were taken in 2006 and 6,213 actions were taken in 2005, according to the annual report compiled by the Federation of State Medical Boards.
The FSMB compiles data from the nations 70 medical boards with some states having separate boards for osteopaths and other healthcare professionals, and the report also includes figures from boards for the District of Columbia and U.S. territories such as Guam.
The FSMB discourages using its data for ranking the states, noting that different boards operate with different financial resources, levels of autonomy, legal constraints and staffing levels.
Nevertheless, the FSMB report is always followed by a report from the Public Citizen Health Research Group, which takes a three-year average of the data the FSMB compiles to develop a ranking of the states and the District of Columbia. This year's Public Citizen report is expected Monday.
A low ranking by Public Citizen often results in increased activity or funding for a states medical board. (Click here for a longer version of this story examining such increases.)