Maryland legislators consider reintroducing doctor background check bill

Doctor Assault Story ImageAfter former Maryland M.D. William Dando had his medical license suspended following allegations of sexual assault, the state is now considering re-visiting legislation that would require all healthcare providers, including doctors, to undergo background checks. Maryland is one of only 13 states that does not currently require background checks on doctors. The state had considered legislation as recently as last year (and as early as 2007) regarding whether healthcare professionals should undergo background screening, but after legislators could not agree over a single word’s usage during the 2013 assembly, the bill was dropped and not reintroduced. However, as of this year, chiropractors, counselors and therapists — for both mental health and physical recovery — are required to undergo background checks per the state regulatory board. Dando was able to get his medical license in Maryland, and practice medicine in the state for nearly two decades, before it was found that he had a previous conviction in another state for raping a woman at gunpoint. That conviction was from 1987, and he served four years of a 10-year sentence. Now, Maryland’s Board of Physicians — the board that approved Dando’s license — will meet this summer to discuss options for screening, moving forward. Previously the Board only asked its applicants if they had previous convictions or arrests. Dando allegedly told the board that he had a previous assault conviction, but it may not have been investigated, and Dando was allowed to obtain his medical license in 1996. Dando has pleaded not guilty to the new sexual assault charges, which were brought against him in April. His trial is scheduled for September. If the Board of Physicians decides to approve a mandate to screen all doctors, it will then have access to the FBI’s national criminal database.]]>

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