Arizona Medical Board Complaint – Adjudication Stage

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The Arizona Medical Board (“Board”) handles all complaints filed against medical doctors (“MD”) that if proved true would violate the Medical Practice Act.  The Board, however, does not have jurisdiction over doctors of osteopathy (“DO”); the Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners handles all complaints filed against a DO.  The Board has published a formalized complaint process with four distinct stages.  The stages are as follows:

1.    Findings
2.    Recommendation
3.    Processing
4.    Adjudication

This post will only examine the adjudication stage of the complaint process.  In the final stage, the Board determines whether the physician is disciplined during its bi-monthly hearing.  A general time-line during the adjudication stage is as follows:

1.    The Board begins with a summarization of the case facts and findings.

2.    The physician is given the opportunity to make a brief statement (5 minutes) or to take questions from the Board and make a brief statement following the questioning.

3.    The physician may be represented by an attorney and the attorney may make a brief statement as well.

4.    After statements are made from the Board and the physician the Board Chair asks for a formal motion on the case.

5.    The Board members may make a motion for dismissal.

6.    If a dismissal motion is passed the case is dismissed.

7.    The Board members may also ask for discipline of the physician citing the specific laws that were violated by the physician.

8.    If the motion for discipline passes the Board debates the suitable disciplinary action.

9.    Board action could include an advisory letter, a decree of censure, a letter of reprimand or probation.

10. If the Board decides to suspend, restrict or revoke the physician’s license the case will be referred to the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) for a formal hearing.

11. If the case is not referred to the OAH or the physician’s license is not suspended the physician has 35 days to appeal the Board’s final decision.

If you have a question regarding an Arizona Medical Board complaint contact Attorney Robert Chelle.