Attention Psychiatrists in All States

The May 2020 report of the Federal State Medical Board’s (FSMB) Workgroup on Physician Sexual Misconduct seeks to provide state medical boards with best practice recommendations for effectively addressing and preventing sexual misconduct with patients, surrogates and others by physicians. The recommendations include specific requests of individual entities, as well as general ones that apply to multiple parties, including state medical boards, the FSMB and other relevant stakeholders. The Workgroup felt strongly that effectively addressing physician sexual misconduct requires widespread cultural and systemic changes that can only be accomplished through shared efforts across the medical education and practice continuum. A sample list of resources available to support greater understanding of sexual misconduct, sexual boundaries, the impacts of trauma and implicit bias is one of the appendices.

The report can be found at:

Attention Ohio Psychiatrists

Ohio physicians and many other allied health care providers, regulated by the State Medical Board of Ohio, are obligated to report violations of law, rule and code of ethics standards to the Medical Board. The Duty to Report goes beyond suspicion of child abuse, elder abuse and breaking the law. Knowing a colleague is violating those regulations and not reporting to the Medical Board not only puts patients at risk but also puts the physician’s license to practice in jeopardy. Failure to report can result in fines up to $20,000 and disciplinary action.

While standards of care and scope of practice are specific to the type of health care you provide, physicians should be familiar with three main sets of regulations:
    1. Statutes: Laws are outlined in Ohio Revised Code (ORC), which can be found at Statutes and the Ohio Revised Code
    2. Rules: Regulations that were created specifically by the State Medical Board of Ohio for its licensees. These are found in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) at Rules and the Ohio Administrative Code
    3. Code of Ethics for your profession
In 2019, the State Medical Board of Ohio took additional steps to ensure licensees know the seriousness of their duty to report knowledge of misconduct. The board added a new section to the application and renewal process to ensure those applying for and renewing their licenses are aware of the duty to report.

Attention California Psychiatrists

Senate Bill (SB) 425 (Hill) added section 805.8 to the Business and Professions Code and requires health facilities and entities to report allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct made against licensed healthcare professionals to the appropriate licensing agency. The law became effective January 1, 2020. In accordance with the law, the patient allegation must be made in writing to the health facility or other entity to trigger the reporting requirements. It imposes a fine up to $100,000 per violation for willful failure to file the required report and specifies that any other failure to file the report is punishable by a fine not exceeding $50,000.

SB 425 also amended Business and Professions Code section 800, subdivision (c)(1), by striking the requirement for the Board to provide a “comprehensive” summary of a licensee’s central file upon the licensee’s request, and instead requires the Board to simply provide a summary. The bill also amended Business and Professions Code section 2234, subdivision (g) to include in the definition of unprofessional conduct the failure of a licensee, in the absence of good cause, to attend and participate in an interview with the Board. Prior to this amendment, the law required the licensee’s failure to attend and participate in an interview with the Board to be repeated to fall within the definition of unprofessional conduct. Finally, with the passing of SB 425, probationary license information will stay on the Board’s website for 10 years. Prior to this change, probationary license information came off of the licensee’s online profile as soon as the period of probation ended. If you have any questions about SB 425, please call (800) 633- 2322 or send an email to

Senate Bill (SB) 697 (Caballero) has significantly changed the rules surrounding the supervision of physician assistants (PAs) in California. The new legislation replaces delegation of services agreements with practice agreements, but mandates physicians to provide adequate supervision as stipulated in the practice agreement. The bill also requires physicians and surgeons to be available, at a minimum, by telephone or other electronic communication methods at the time the PA examines the patient. SB 697 also removed the requirements that the medical record identify the responsible supervising physician and surgeon and that those written guidelines for adequate supervision be established. The bill, instead, authorizes a PA to perform medical services authorized by the act if certain requirements are met, including that the medical services are rendered pursuant to a practice agreement, and the PA is competent to perform the medical services. SB 697 requires a practice agreement between a PA and a physician and surgeon to meet specified requirements and requires a practice agreement to establish policies and procedures to identify a physician and surgeon supervising a PA rendering services in a general acute care hospital.

In regard to prescribing, the law authorizes a PA to furnish or order a drug or device subject to specified requirements, including that the furnishing or ordering be in accordance with the practice agreement and consistent with the PA’s educational preparation or for which clinical competency has been established and maintained, and that the physician and surgeon be available by telephone or other electronic communication method at the time the physician assistant examines the patient. In addition, the bill authorizes PAs to furnish or order Schedule II or III controlled substances in accordance with the practice agreement or a patient-specific order approved by the treating or supervising physician and surgeon. If you have any questions about SB 697, please call the CA Medical Board at 800-633-2322 or send an email to