There's an old joke that asks, "What do you call the student who finished last in their class at medical school?" The answer: "Doctor." That's also too often the answer to what to call physicians found guilty of malpractice or misconduct. You might think they were no longer allowed to practice medicine -- but you'd be wrong.
After a USA Today investigation showed that thousands of doctors who have been banned by hospitals over errors haven't been punished by the state medical boards that license them, I invited Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the Public Citizen Health Research Group to explain why they're allowed to continue practicing. I asked him why there isn't a national database that patients can check to see if a doctor has a bad record, so we can make informed consumer choices about our health care -- and why other physicians aren't even allowed that information before making a referral!