Only after experiencing medical malpractice did I begin to realize just how frequently it occurs and that most patients are not aware of how to look up a doctor's history or take recourse when victimized. A big part of this is because doctors and their stakeholders fiercely suppress cases against them. Doctors offer refunds in exchange for signing a gag clause (i.e., non-disclosure/disparagement agreement) barring the victim from ever talking about it. If the victim is within the statute of limitations (which is very short in some states, like California's 1 year due to MICRA) and they sue, doctors carry hefty malpractice insurance that coerces settlement with victims out of court, once again stipulating that they not speak. If those methods don't work, doctors hire reputation cleaners to get unfavorable reviews taken down directly by the review platform or by threat of lawsuit over libel.

Many victims don't know they can file a complaint with the doctor's licensing body (the state medical board). However, even if the victim does file a complaint, the complaint process is very opaque. Medical boards have a history of going very easy on doctors, perhaps because they are governed by a majority doctors (California's has 8 doctors and 7 consumers; Florida's has 12 doctors and just 3 consumers). Furthermore, doctors' interest groups (like the California Medical Association or CMA) lobby to minimize regulations that could hold doctors accountable. Their influence over medical boards becomes even more direct when seeing that 2 current MBC members are former CMA presidents. Watch the clip below for some further insight into how concerning the issue is, including the fact that your complaint in California has a 1.4% chance of getting the doctor disciplined with probation and that the board does not consult the complainant after submission, often just accepting the doctor's rebuttal.

In acts so egregious (often repeated multiple times) that the board does take action, patients often don't know they can look up these cases publicly. The cases are hidden across outdated government sites and the contents are not digitized so as to allow for even the most basic filtering by the offense a doctor was charged with. physician.fyi aims to make all these cases across all states easily searchable forever to empower patients to be informed.

Sign our petition to make the National Practitioner Databank public. It's a federal repository of medical malpractice payments and adverse actions related to doctors. It purports to have a mission "to improve health care quality, protect the public, and reduce health care fraud and abuse in the U.S.", but it explicitly excludes the very patients who would benefit most from seeing findings against doctors from gaining access.