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How to File a Complaint Against Your Doctor  

Each State Has Its Own Filing Requirements

Doctors are registered in the individual state in which they practice. The Board of Medicine or Board of Registration in Medicine governs the conduct of the doctors practicing in a particular state.

The actual name of the Board will vary from state to state. If you want to file a complaint against a doctor within a state, you will will have to contact the Board of Medicine to see what their individual procedures are regarding filing a grievance of this type. Usually, the Board will have a website which the general public can access to determine what steps they need to take in order to get the ball rolling.

Massachusetts Complaint Filing Process: An Example

The best way to describe the filing process against a doctor is to detail a filing procedure from a particular state. In this case, an example complaint filing in the state of Massachusetts will be described. The pertinent board in Massachusetts is the Board of Registration in Medicine. The Board follows the conduct of all physicians who practice within the state. This Board of Registration in Medicine provides a detailed guideline to follow when one is interested in having a complaint against their doctor known.

The first step is to fill out an intake form which can be obtained from the Consumer Protection Unit and is available on the Board of Registration in Medicine website. Once the intake form is received by the Board, they will decide whether it should be docketed or not. If not, the individual is notified of the decline to docket it and the reason for such a refusal. If so, the process continues to the next step where the complaint is docketed and a copy is sent to the physician who must then respond within 30 days.

Prior to the complaint going to the Complaint Committee, which is the entity that will decide the fate of the physician, the Board collects further information such as medical records and witness statements. Once all pertinent information has been collected, that information goes to the Complaint Committee. The Complaint Committee will review the issue and determine if the complaint will be dismissed, if doctor will be disciplined or something which falls in between those two options. This is one example of how a state deals with a complaint against a doctor and how a patient expressing the desire to file a complaint may need to proceed in order to get their case heard.

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