NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Last month, the Board Of Medical Examiners decided physicians who spread COVID-19 misinformation risk disciplinary action — including getting their license revoked in extreme cases.
But, if your doctor is penalized, is there any way to know?
The Tennessee Department of Health posts records of disciplinary actions online. It is used often by medical malpractice attorney Clint Kelly.
"You type in the physician's name, that's all you have to do. If he's in Tennessee his name is going to pop up," said Kelly. "Any consumer can go online and look to see what a physician's track record is."
Kelly says most health care providers that require a license in Tennessee can be searched. When their information populates, it will say if there has been any disciplinary action taken against them.
"Most of us know to get unofficial information by going on social media, asking your treating physician, asking your friends, but the official information is something most people don't know about and I believe is vital for potential patients to go look at that info," said Kelly.
The newest violation that could land on a physician's record is spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation. It would show up on the database if the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners disciplines the practitioner.
"Anything that they can do to stop misinformation and save lives is something they're going to support," Kelly said.
Disciplinary reports remain part of Tennessee health care providers' public records forever.
"If the health care provider has had an action that is so grave that it requires reporting on the licensure website, then that patient should have the opportunity to read about that," Kelly said.
You can file a complaint against a health care provider by calling 800-852-2187. Regarding the coronavirus, there have reportedly been at least two dozen complaints made so far this year.