Businesses and Professions

Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline

SECTION 5-37-1.3

§ 5-37-1.3. Board of medical licensure and discipline – Powers and duties.

The board has the following duties and powers:

(1) To adopt, amend, and rescind rules and regulations, with the approval of the director, necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter;

(2) To investigate all complaints and charges of unprofessional conduct against any licensed physician or limited registrant and hold hearings to determine whether those charges are substantiated or unsubstantiated;

(3) To direct the director of the department of health to license qualified applicants;

(4) To appoint one or more members of the board to act for the members of the board in investigating the conduct or competence of any licensed physician or limited registrant;

(5) To direct the director to revoke or suspend licenses or registrations, or implement other disciplinary action against persons licensed or registered under this chapter;

(6) To issue subpoenas and administer oaths in connection with any investigations, hearings, or disciplinary proceedings held under the authority of this chapter as follows:

(i) All subpoenas issued pursuant to this section shall only be issued by a vote of either the investigating committee or the full board;

(ii) All subpoenas issued by the board or the investigating committee shall be served by a disinterested party or by a constable authorized by the courts to serve process;

(iii) Subpoenas issued by either the investigating committee or the full board shall have a reasonable return date that will allow the recipient an opportunity to review the subpoena, consult with counsel, and prepare a response to the subpoena; and

(iv) All subpoenas shall be in compliance with the Rhode Island health care confidentiality act;

(7) To take or cause depositions to be taken as needed in any investigation, hearing, or proceeding;

(8) To summon and examine witnesses during any investigation, hearing, or proceeding conducted by the board;

(9) To adopt and publish, with the approval of the director, rules of procedure and other regulations in accordance with the administrative procedure act, chapter 35 of title 42.

(10)(i) To require a licensee to undergo a physical or psychiatric examination by a physician acceptable to the board, from a list provided to the licensee by the board, if probable cause exists to believe that allegations of misconduct against a licensee are caused by an impairment that has directly affected the ability of the licensee to conduct his or her practice professionally.

(ii) The investigating committee and the board may not discriminate on the basis of disability in the administration of the licensing program, nor subject qualified individuals with disabilities to any discrimination on the basis of disability in its complaint procedure. All decisions of the investigating committee and the board shall be based on the allegation of unprofessional conduct and not due to probable cause of the conduct being related to the disability of the licensee.

(11) To advise the licensee of the availability of the physicians health committee of the Rhode Island Medical Society, and in appropriate instances, to refer licensees to that committee for evaluation by appropriate medical professionals.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 301, § 6; P.L. 1998, ch. 318, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 486, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 493, § 1.)