Arizona Medical Board Complaint – Findings Stage

Illustration by Jared Rodriguez

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 Findings stage of the complaint process.  A general time-line during the findings phase is as follows:

1.       Complaint is received

2.       Lead Investigator is assigned to the complaint

3.       Complainant is contact by the Investigator who details the process

4.       Physician is notified and a response is requested

5.       If the complaint involves a non-quality of care issue the case will move forward without medical review.

6.       If the complaint involved the treatment of a patient medical review is undertaken and a medical consultant is assigned to review whether the standard of care was met.

7.       If the medical consultant cannot substantiate the allegation, the Chief Medical Consultant forwards the case to the Executive Director for dismissal.

8.       If the medical consultant believes there is nonconformity with the standard of care the consultant’s findings are forwarded to the physician.

9.       The physician is then given an opportunity to respond to the specific allegations and findings of the medical consultant’s report.

Stage Two in the complaint process is a Recommendation for discipline or non-discipline.  This stage will be discussed next.

If you have a question about an Arizona Medical Board complaint contact Chelle Law.