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Did Your Doctor Lose or Surrender his/her License in Another State?

Seeing a new doctor? Ask this: Did your doctor lose or surrender his or her license in another state? It is an important question. Some doctors lose or surrender their licenses in one state and then simply move to another state and open a new practice. You want to know, of course, if this is true of your doctor!Did Your Doctor Lose or Surrender his/her License in Another State? -- Altizer Law, PC

Doctors may be disciplined by State Medical Boards for a variety of reasons. Unprofessional conduct charges may stem from repeated treatment mistakes or surgical errors, inappropriate sexual relationships with patients, issuing excessive opioid prescriptions, repeated failures to diagnose illnesses, or misdiagnoses. Sometimes, rather than comply with State Board sanctions or loss of their medical license, these doctors choose to surrender their licenses and leave the State.

According to an investigation conducted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USA Today and MedPage Today, more than 500 physicians who were disciplined in one state were able to practice elsewhere with a clean license/record. Theoretically, a State Board of Medicine would check on the record and licensing of doctors applying for a new license in their states. This does not happen in some cases, however. Further, some states are especially secretive about the reason for a physician’s surrender of his or her license.

The National Practitioner Data Bank was created by Congress in 1986 to be a central repository of disciplinary actions, malpractice cases, restrictions or exclusions from hospitals or health insurance plans, and other restrictions and limitations. It currently includes more than 1.3 million records dating from 1990 of the “adverse actions” filed against physicians. This data bank is accessible by hospitals, insurers, and State Medical Boards. It is not accessible by the public. Unfortunately, it is seldom used by those permitted access.

How do YOU research your doctor? There are a few options available.

  1. Look up your doctor’s public file with the State Medical Board.
  2. If you know that your doctor relocated from another state, look up the doctor’s public file with the State Medical Board of that state.
  3. Research disciplinary actions taken against doctors at these sites cited by Public Citizen (
    1. Hospital Discipline Reporting
    2. Patient Safety and Medical Malpractice
    3. State Medical Boards’ Websites
    4. State Medical Boards’ Disciplinary Actions
    5. Criminal Activity by Physicians

Every year, medical errors or negligence are responsible for 98,000 American deaths. [] Some of these tragedies are due to the malpractice of a doctor who lost or surrendered his/her license in another state and moved to Virginia with impunity.


If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence or wrongdoing of any medical professional or hospital, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your hurts and harms, as well as costs and losses. When you need legal advice or representation, call the Roanoke, VA attorney known for her compassion and aggressive tenacity in representing clients, Altizer Law, P.C. Come in and talk with us (or we will come to you) and learn why Bettina Altizer and her team are considered a top Virginia medical malpractice law firm.