Profiles of all health care professionals licensed, certified, or registered by the State of Vermont are available online to the public.
Vermont law (26 V.SA. §1368) requires the Department of Health to create this data repository of profiles of all medical doctors (MDs) licensed to practice in Vermont. Under the law, physician profiles contain the following information:
1) A description of any criminal convictions for felonies and serious misdemeanors, as determined by the Commissioner of Health, within the most recent 10 years. For the purposes of this subdivision of the law, a person is deemed to be convicted of a crime if he or she pleaded guilty or was found or adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) A description of any charges to which a health care professional pleads nolo contendere (no contest) or where sufficient facts of guilt were found and the matter was continued without a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) A description of any formal charges served, findings, conclusions, and orders of the Board of Medical Practice, and final disposition of matters by the courts within the most recent 10 years.
(4) A description of any formal charges served by licensing authorities, findings, conclusions, and orders of such licensing authorities, and final disposition of matters by the courts in other states within the most recent 10 years.
(5) A description of revocation or involuntary restriction of hospital privileges for reasons related to competence or character that has been issued by the hospital's governing body or any other official of the hospital after procedural due process has been afforded, or the resignation from, or nonrenewal of, medical staff membership or the restriction of privileges at a hospital taken in lieu of, or in settlement of, a pending disciplinary case related to competence or character in that hospital. Only cases which have occurred within the most recent 10 years are contained in the profile.
(6) All medical malpractice court judgments and all medical malpractice arbitration awards in which a payment is awarded to a complaining party during the last 10 years, and all settlements of medical malpractice claims in which a payment is made to a complaining party within the last 10 years. Dispositions of paid claims are reported in a minimum of three graduated categories, indicating the level of significance of the award or settlement.
Please keep in mind that physicians treating certain patients and performing certain procedures are more likely to be the subject of litigation than others. The report on a physician reflects data for the last 10 years. The number of years the physician has been in practice should be taken into account when considering malpractice data. An incident giving rise to a malpractice claim may have occurred years before any payment was made, due to the time lawsuits take to move through the legal system. Treating high-risk patients may have an effect on a physician's malpractice history. Malpractice cases may be settled for reasons other than liability. Settlement of a claim may occur for a variety of reasons which do not necessarily reflect negatively on the professional competence or conduct of the health care professional. A payment in settlement of a medical malpractice action or claim should not be construed as creating a presumption that medical malpractice has occurred.
(7) The names of medical professional schools and dates of graduation.
(8) Graduate medical education.
(9) Specialty board certification.
(10) The number of years in practice.
Vermont Practitioner Health Program is a service of the Vermont Medical Society, financed in part by Medical Practice Board license fees. Its primary purpose is to protect the public by the early identification, treatment and rehabilitation of individual providers of health services who are impaired or at risk for impairment by the excessive use of drugs, including alcohol.
Under the protocol adopted by both the Board and the Society, VPHP is not required to disclose to the Board the identity of the participants except where there is injury, or the risk of injury, to a patient, a criminal act, relapse to the use of alcohol or drugs; or other failures by the participant to abide by the monitoring contract with VPHP.
The confidential VPHP telephone number is 802-223-0400.