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New Jersey medical board slacks on disciplining negligent doctors

New Jersey residents who visit a doctor for any reason trust that they are in good hands with a medical professional. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Doctors make mistakes, and when negligence results in injury to a patient, there is likely grounds to seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Part of the system for addressing the problem of medical malpractice is that the state medical board should also take action against negligent healthcare providers. However, it was recently discovered that New Jersey's Board of Medical Examiners is one of the worst medical boards in the nation for disciplining and exposing negligent doctors.

According to a recent study performed by a consumer advocacy group, New Jersey ranked 43 out of 50 in the nation for serious actions to discipline and expose negligent doctors. From 2009 to 2011, the New Jersey medical disciplinary board took only 78 actions for medical malpractice. This is our state's worst ranking since the group began these studies.

The board's actions were considered severe if they concluded in revocation, suspension, restriction or surrender of a doctor's license.

If a doctor fails to meet the required standard of care when treating a patient, it is important that there is some established means of holding the doctor duly accountable. Some people attribute the New Jersey board's lack of disciplinary action to the corresponding lack of financing, leadership and staffing. In fact, there are currently two vacancies on the board.

Patients who are injured as a result of a medical professional's reckless or negligent treatment may be entitled to compensation. New Jersey residents who are dealing with the pain and suffering of a medical injury should be aware of their rights under our state's medical malpractice laws.

Source: nj.com, "N.J. medical board ranks 43rd in nation in exposing, disciplining doctors," Susan K. Livio, May 18, 2012

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