Local News

Malpractice records of physicians available online

Posted December 7, 2009 9:19 p.m. EST
Updated December 8, 2009 8:33 a.m. EST

— Expanded information about North Carolina's 35,000 licensed physicians and physician assistants is now available online.

Since 2001, the medical board has posted basic professional and licensing information about physicians and physician's assistants, as well as any charges, allegations and disciplinary action the medical board has taken against them.

The Medical Board’s Web site now publishes settlements of $75,000 or more that occurred on or after May 1, 2008. Information about malpractice settlements will remain on the Web site for seven years beginning May 1, 2008.

Twenty-five other state medical boards also make malpractice awards available to patients online.

The change came after the North Carolina Medical Board came under fire for its handling of several cases. Critics claimed the board "protects" doctors.

The board initially proposed putting all malpractice judgment and settlements online, but opponents argued that doctors settle malpractice claims for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of medical care. Posting that information could be misconstrued, they argued.

The board later voted unanimously, in July of 2008, in favor of adding the malpractice judgments and settlements.