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The Role of State Board of Physicians and Frequents Questions About the Process

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

[Note: Lots of the following information has been taken from the Board's website for general public interests especially the Nevada physicians, with our explanation where necessary]


What is the Board?

The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners is the state governmental agency which licenses and disciplines medical doctors (M.D.s), physician assistants (PAs), practitioners of respiratory care and perfusionists. It is comprised of nine members: six are physicians actively practicing in Nevada, and three are public members, and all are appointed by the Governor.


The Board has Immunity from Civil and Criminal lawsuit and penalties

I know what a license is, but what does "discipline" mean with regard to doctors, physician assistants, practitioners of respiratory care and perfusionists?


If a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist breaks the law under the Nevada Medical Practice Act (chapter 630 of the Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Code), the Board can investigate and file charges against him or her. If the charges are proven, the Board can revoke the license of the doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist, put him or her on probation, or impose other sanctions against him or her that are authorized by the Nevada Medical Practice Act.


What kinds of things can a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist be disciplined for?


There are three major categories, and several less serious ones:

  • Malpractice:

  • As an example, if a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist fails to use a well-known and effective treatment, to the patient’s detriment, that may be malpractice.

  • Sometimes, a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist does things that are not extremely careless, but are not appropriate for the condition of the patient. For example, if several patients of a plastic surgeon end up with unusual infections following facelifts, are hospitalized, and are left with scars, that may be malpractice.

Professional Incompetence:

  • If a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist does things which he or she is not adequately trained to do, or does not maintain the skills needed to practice safely and effectively, he or she may be professionally incompetent. An example is a doctor who continues to do a surgical procedure that others in his or her field stopped doing years ago because it was found to be unnecessarily dangerous, or, a general practitioner does a plastic surgery, for which he or she is not adequately trained.

What are some other causes for Physician, Physician Assistant, Practitioner of Respiratory Care or Perfusionist discipline?

  • Problems with drugs or alcohol, or emotional stability.

  • Sexual misconduct with patients.

  • Abandonment of a patient.

  • Indiscriminate prescribing and other drug law violations, such as prescribing to a known addict, diverting drugs to illegal street sale, or prescribing without medical reason.

  • Knowingly allowing an unlicensed person to practice medicine.

  • Conviction of a serious crime, or crime involving moral turpitude, or crime involving the practice of medicine.

  • Billing for services not rendered.

4. What does the Board not do?

chiropractors

clinics

dentists

doctor's front office (clerical) staff

emergency medical technicians

family counselors

homeopaths

hospitals

laboratories

laboratory technicians

marriage counselors

medical insurance companies

nurses

nursing homes

pharmacists

optometrists

oriental medicine occupations

osteopaths

physical therapists

podiatrists

psychologists

social workers

speech pathologists

veterinarians

x-ray technicians

The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners regulates only medical doctors (M.D.s), physician assistants (PAs), practitioners of respiratory care and perfusionists. See the governmental offices listing in the phone book for other regulatory boards or call Nevada State Library Research Assistance at (775) 684-3360, or toll-free from within the state of Nevada at (800) 922-2880.


The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners has no legal authority over what a doctor charges (unless it involves fraud), and cannot help with getting fees reduced or refunded. Sometimes the Office of the Governor, Consumer Health Assistance Program ((702)486-3587 in Las Vegas or (888) 333-1597, toll-free) can help with fee problems.


5. What can I find out about a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist?


We can tell you if a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist is licensed, or if he or she has been formally disciplined, and provide you with his or her educational background and malpractice history. For this information, call the office of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners at (775) 688-2559 in Reno, or toll-free at (775) 890-8210, and then press "0" (zero). By law, we cannot reveal whether a complaint has been made against a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist unless the complaint has resulted in formal charges.

We cannot recommend a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist, or tell you who is available in your community. You may want to call your county’s medical society or a local hospital for referrals. Also, your insurance plan may list which doctors in your community are covered by your insurance.


6. Does a doctor have to release medical records to a patient?

Yes. A doctor does have to make a patient’s records available to the patient or to the patient’s representative with the patient’s written authorization. The doctor may charge up to 60 cents per page for photocopies of the records, and a reasonable fee for copies of X-rays and other health care records produced by similar processes.


7. What will happen if I file a complaint against a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist?

Your complaint must be in written form, and we will give you written confirmation of receipt of your complaint. As soon as we can, we will tell you what we’ve done about it. However, there is a formal procedure which must be completed:

Determine if the Board has Jurisdiction

First, we determine if the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners has jurisdiction in the matter. If so, the Board’s Investigative Committee will assign an investigator to get the facts. If we confirm a violation of the Nevada Medical Practice Act, the Board may file charges, and a doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist will be given a public hearing. The charges filed by the Board, and the formal decision of the Board after the hearing, are public record. Copies are available upon request.

If the Charges are Proven

The Board may suspend or revoke the license or place the doctor, physician assistant. practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist on probation. The Board can also order psychiatric treatment, additional education, passage of a competency examination or any other discipline provided by the Nevada Medical Practice Act.

If the Problem is Drugs or Alcohol

The Board can require the doctor, physician assistant, practitioner of respiratory care or perfusionist to participate in treatment and keep him or her out of practice until the problem is under control.


8. How can I file a complaint with the Board?

Just call the office of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners in Reno at (775) 688-2559 or toll-free at (888) 890-8210, toll-free from within the state of Nevada, press "0" and ask to be transferred to the Investigations Division. You may also go back to the home page of this website and click on File a Complaint.


9. How can I obtain copies of documents related to malpractice claims or disciplinary action against a licensee of the board?


Complete the Order Public Records form found in the "Patients & Consumers" section on this website and send to the Board office at 9600 Gateway Drive, Reno, NV 89521, together with your cashier's check or money order made payable to the "Nevada Board of Medical Examiners," or completed/signed "Credit Card Authorization Form," for the amount of pages you have requested.






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