Physician Privacy

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    There are some people who feel that a physician’s information should be made public…such as settled lawsuits & malpractice claims, psychiatric history, whether or not to disclose HIV status, and in general allow for heightened scrutiny of physicians by the public.

    How do you gals feel regarding this issue? Already a physician’s address is made public (at least in Cali). Do you gals find this a risk factor for identity theft…or do you feel the public has a right to know about their docotr in more detail, and to what extent?

    More fuel for discussions!!


    I’m sure people wouldn’t mind more information about their doctors. As a past patient, I understand the comfort that comes in knowing your doctor isn’t a total quack. However, as a physician, I strongly support privacy of the individual.

    Lawsuit information is tricky. There are many, many suits filed…most of which aren’t actual negligence by the MD. If you work in the profession, you understand why providing this information isn’t a good idea.

    EM momEM mom

    I totally agree with Mya. Privacy is a very important thing for myself and for my family. And I know many people (very good doctors who I would happily let take care of my own family) who have been sued despite not even taking care of a patient…the lawyer just sues whose ever names are on the chart, no matter how or IF the physician was involved! Sadly with all of the “reporting” that is starting (especially in NY) doctors are slowly losing their privacy.


    So in Cali a Doctor HAS to have their address published? If so, WHY?
    I think it should be up to the physician what to be let known, which usually wont be any suits. Just because you are a doc doesn’t take away your right to privacy. I would think that is unconstitutional.
    I can tell you this. I would much rather have a doctor taking care of me who is human and may not have led a perfect life, or have made mistakes (as long as they’ve learned from them) than one who has never did any wrong doing (sort of holier than thou). This will allow for a doc of my choosing to be able to relate to me,as a human,—The Nonperfect Majority.
    I wouldn’t care if my doc lived comfortably in the slums. It is the care, treatment, and personality that matters most to me.
    Anything tooo perfect is sorta “freakish” to me.


    Yep. :yes: When a physician applies for a medical license in California, it is disclosed that your address will be made public. All anyone has to do is go the California Consumer Affairs website and type in the doctor’s name. You don’t need the license number, or any additional information. :no: I find this disturbing. I actually used an alternate address because I didn’t want anyone to simply type in my name and know where me and my family live. I don’t see how that’s safe for the physician to post their personal info like that. And to add insult to injury, you can’t use a PO Box. :no: I don’t understand the benefit of posting this information.


    I am a Cali licensee and early on when the address information was posted on the internet I was Stalked (through phone calls and letters) by some nutcase guy I knew way back in college. I hadn’t even seen or spoken to him in over 15 years. He obviously looked me up on the internet and found my address of record which was the office address. He then located the phone number through the address. You can use a PO box address (which I later did) as long as you provide the Medical Board with a confidential physical address. I always warn Cali MDs to not use their home addresses as a former lunatic patient to whom you denied drugs can come asking for them with gun at your door step! Think that it has never happened?, well think otherwise.

    Another source of personal information disclosed on the internet is that on the AMA website. Whether you are a member or not, they maintain a database and will post address information if they have it. I have never been a member and I successfully had my name removed from their website (but not their database). The DEA database also has been sold to unscrupulous folks for the sake of marketing as well. Since it is a database of over 10000 entries, it is considered public record. Learning that was certainly contradictory as when you apply for the DEA number you are advised that it is confidential.

    Many of these things I found out when I had to do damage control after the stalking situation. I placed many phone calls to ensure removal of my name and address whenever possible. Btw, AMA stands for the American Marketing Association (marketing of physicians), in my opinion. And how did the AMA get my address in the first place when I never ever was a member and had moved many times since medical school? Well they got it thanks to the DEA master list.

    myimd, our medical board feels that consumers have the right to be able to always locate the physicians that have treated them. As a woman, especially, I have felt particularly vulnerable with this disclosure of address information.

    Sorry for my rant here; I am passionate because I have had to deal with the ramifications of my address being posted on the consumer medical board site.


    Obviously we beg to differ from the medical board. I don’t see why people have a right to know where to find their physician. I don’t know where my policemen live…or my pharmacist. I can see posting the work address (if there is a work address), but to put someone’s home in jeopardy. I wonder how many doctors have to die before the medical board reconsiders this practice.


    That is scary! Haaaa, the AMA. Such a good laugh! I thought if a doc need be got a hold of that is what the answering service is for!!!! Not that your pagers don’t go off enough, but it is better than basically posting a sign to the world “This is where I live, come stalk me!”


    CALIMD: Last November I got a message on my desk from a DR.________ from med school who I hadn’t spoke to since 1996 ( for good reasons, he was getting married and I was an ex and we thought it best to completely detach)…anyways due to some family/psycho/crisis thing he needed my potential character reference ( his pscyho family tunred him into the Impaired Physician board unjustifiably, they are evil)…ANYWAYS he found me on the Internet ( and certainly admitted to it)…creepy!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And right to the girl that mentioned people being sued for no good reason!!!KEEP OUR NAMES OFF THE INTERNET ( I have never searched any of my perosnal physicians or specialists.)


    No. I’m a patient, and I don’t need that info about you. I can understand life/death matters, like being told whether your physician has a serious, communicable disease (like TB); there are unfortunately too many instances of doctors failing to tell anyone about these things & infecting patients. And I do think it’d be nice to have a professional history available — in “luck of the draw” HMOs, for instance, you may have no way of finding out how experienced your surgeon is with your particular surgery. Judgments against a doctor would go into that professional history, too (though failed lawsuits shouldn’t). But doctors’ medical history, home contact info, vitals — no, that’s crazy. We don’t need that.



    Note to Self: Remind me never to practice in CA. What possible reason could CA have for publishing a physician’s home address??? Great, so all of your uh…”off-kilter” patients can come and stalk you? I understand about publishing your business address in a directory so people can come to you with their medical problems but home address?

    I have mixed feelings about the other stuff. I may post more on that later. I should probably get back to work now though.



    moved to debate forum….

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