by Sarah Ulmer

When medicine is as important to Mississippi as it is, a key component is having qualified and skilled physicians to keep it running. The Physicians Protection Act, authored by Rep. Angela Cockerham would ensure that doctors being treated fairly when it comes to due process.

HB1165 would create three positions of hearing officers for the State Board of Medical Licensure. The officers would review cases from the last three years to make sure all of the correct actions were taken by the board, whether that be on matters of discipline or licensure issues. The Attorney General’s office would be required to fill those roles.

The bill would also increase the standard of proof to clear and convincing evidence in order to find a licensee guilty of an offense.

“Genuine concern has been expressed about a fair process for doctors especially general practitioners, rural doctors, and family physicians,” said Cockerham.

This bill would ensure that no matter where in the state a doctor resided, they would be taken are of and ensured a fair process with the state board.

Cockerham said ideally, those appointed hearing officers would come from the Attorney General’s office.