We trust doctors with the most intimate details of our lives, trusting that they will use this information to help us and to cure what ails us. But how much do we know about the doctors that we trust with our most personal information? Are they trustworthy? Have they ever assaulted a patient? Or been sued for malpractice? For most patients, this information just is not available, unless you live in Illinois.
Signed by Governor Pat Quinn, the Patients’ Right to Know Act took effect in early August of 2011. The act requires that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation make publicly available information about doctors such as whether the doctor has:
- Been sued for medical malpractice in the past 5 years
- Been fired from a position
- Been convicted of a crime
Also available will be biographical information, including:
- Medical school attended
- Number of years practiced
- Specialty board certifications
- Hospitals or clinics worked
- Medicaid programs participated in, if any
After the act’s passage had been successfully opposed by the doctor’s lobby for nearly a decade, it was finally passed after an expose in the Chicago Tribune found doctors who posed a danger to the public, including doctors convicted of sex crimes, were allowed to keep their licenses by Illinois regulators.
Even after vetting a doctor, it is possible that a patient may be injured as a result of the doctor’s carelessness, negligence or intentionally harmful act. When a patient is injured, speaking to an experienced medical malpractice attorney can be the first step in holding the doctor to account for his or her actions or inactions and help the injured victim pay for expenses medical bills and long-term care by seeking compensation for the injuries suffered.
Medical Malpractice Reform