Magazine article Developments in Mental Health Law

State Board Can Insist as a Condition for Reinstating a License to Practice Medicine That a Physician Submit to a Psychiatric Exam by a Medical Professional Pre-Approved by the Board; Ruling Not Disturbed

Magazine article Developments in Mental Health Law

State Board Can Insist as a Condition for Reinstating a License to Practice Medicine That a Physician Submit to a Psychiatric Exam by a Medical Professional Pre-Approved by the Board; Ruling Not Disturbed

Article excerpt

A Rhode Island court upheld a decision by that state's Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline (Board) that a physician was not fit for practice and could only apply for reinstatement after she had undergone a psychiatric examination by a medical professional pre-approved by the Board. The physician had argued that she was willing to be examined by a psychiatrist, but not one who was subject to the Board's control. The court rejected this argument and concluded that she was required to comply with the Board's order and that her license could be suspended until she satisfied the Board's requirement.

Among the findings of unprofessional conduct that the court upheld was that the physician had made an anonymous phone call to the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF) suggesting child abuse by the parents of four of her patients. The court determined that while the general public could file a complaint regarding abuse by this means, under Rhode Island law a physician has a higher duty when reporting a case of suspected child abuse, which necessitates that a written report be filed. …

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