Driven in part by the Florida Board of Medicine, state medical boards' disciplinary actions against physicians increased 6.8% in 2011, and 4.9% more doctors had their medical licenses or license privileges revoked or suspended, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards Summary of 2011 Board Actions (PDF).
The annual summary compiles the disciplinary actions taken by the FSMB's 70-member medical and osteopathic boards from the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories. The boards recorded a total of 6,034 disciplinary actions in 2011, as compared with 5,652 in 2010.
"Because states operate with different financial resources, levels of autonomy, legal constraints and staffing levels, the FSMB discourages using data from this report to compare or rank states," wrote Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, FSMB president and CEO, in the report's introduction. "Changes in a board's funding, staffing levels, changes in state law and many other factors can impact the number of actions taken by a board."
Despite Chaudry's request not to use the report to rank different states, the Public Citizen consumer-advocacy group does just that, using a three-year average of FSMB data to calculate a "serious actions per 1,000 physicians" score.