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Dangerous doctors avoiding regulation and scrutiny

The Chicago Tribune recently exposed that dangerous doctors have been slipping through the cracks. The Chicago Tribune reported about a recent incident in Crestwood, Illinois. Crestwood is a southwest Illinois suburb of Chicago. One night, a Crestwood police officer was performing routine building checks when he noticed an open door to the office of a psychiatrist. When the officer stopped inside the cluttered office, he discovered several things out of order. He found roaming cats, a Colt AR-15 assault rifle and other guns, ammunition, military-grade smoke grenades, sex toys, and pornography. When Illinois regulators determined that the psychiatrist had engaged in sexual misconduct and committed other violations of the State Medical Practice Act, they suspended his license and proclaimed him a “danger to his patients.” But the truth is that the Illinois psychiatrist’s practice could have been shut down years earlier after an Illinois agency found that the psychiatrist committed inappropriate conduct with a female inmate and barred him from working in a prison. These are the type of incidents that are concerning about whether our regulations truly protect against Illinois medical malpractice.

Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers agree that this case raises questions about the medical disciplinary system and its ability to protect Illinois citizens against Illinois medical malpractice. In a system that should protect, Illinois agencies and associations are required to report potentially dangerous and unprofessional doctors to medical regulators, who can bar the doctors from practicing and keep patients out of harm’s way. However, the mandatory reporters sound very few alarms and when they do, regulators rarely take action. Strikingly, 348 mandatory reports were filed with the state of Illinois in 2009, but only one case resulted in the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation by suspending the Illinois physician’s license. Such a disparity tends to show that the system does not work as well as it should.

Visit the Chicago Tribune to learn more about the problems with the Illinois medical disciplinary system.