Bill Would Remove Probation Option for Doctors Facing Certain Misconduct Charges

Currently, doctors are often allowed to continue practicing medicine after being placed on probation for a range of violations, including sexually assaulting patients, making serious and repeated medical errors or practicing under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A newly submitted bill (AB 505) seeks to strip away probation as an option for doctors whose actions harmed patients through drug or alcohol abuse, sexual exploitation or other felony-level misconduct. Instead of going through state regulators' administrative disciplinary process, they would instead face judicial scrutiny. The measure would not require doctors who are placed on probation for other reasons to inform their patients about that disciplinary action.