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An interesting editorial in the Palm Beach Post dated August 5, 2006, calls into question the existing system in place for monitoring Florida physicians for medical malpractice. Currently, the state of Florida has more than 50,000 licensed physicians, and the Department of Health reviews around 8,000 complaints by patients about doctors each year.

The editorial accuses the state Board of Medicine to be slow in responding and too easy on doctors, citing that it usually takes the board at least 18 months to determine physician punishments in cases that the Department of Health deems valid.

Apparently the Board of Medicine is comprised of 12 physicians and 3 consumers, offering poor representation of the general public.

The writer concludes:

Floridians need a Board of Medicine that recognizes the need for disciplining doctors and is unafraid to carry out that responsibility. An effective medical board protects the profession and the public.

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