TITLE 24

Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 17. MEDICAL PRACTICE ACT

Subchapter II. The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline


(a) The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline has the sole authority in this State to issue certificates to practice medicine and is the State's supervisory, regulatory, and disciplinary body for the practice of medicine. The Board also has the sole authority in this State to issue authorizing documents to practice other specified professions or occupations regulated by this chapter, and to supervise, regulate, and discipline members of those professions and occupations.

(b) The Board consists of 16 voting members appointed by the Governor, 8 of whom are persons certified and registered to practice medicine in this State and of whom at least 1 is an osteopathic physician; 4 of whom are persons certified and registered to practice medicine in this State and have their primary place of practicing medicine in New Castle County; 2 of whom are persons certified and registered to practice medicine in this State and have their primary place of practicing medicine in Kent County; 2 of whom are persons certified and registered to practice medicine in this State and have their primary place of practicing medicine in Sussex County; and 7 of whom are public members. The Director of the Division of Public Health shall serve as a voting member of the Board. A public member may not be nor may ever have been certified, licensed, or registered pursuant to this chapter; may not be the spouse of someone certified, licensed, or registered pursuant to this chapter; at the time of appointment may not be a member of the immediate family of someone certified, licensed, or registered pursuant to this chapter.

(c) The Medical Society of Delaware and the Delaware State Osteopathic Medical Society may submit lists of their resident members and any recommendations to the Governor by January 1 of each year under the seal of and signed by the Secretary of the Society to aid the Governor in the appointment of new members to the Board.

(d) An appointment to the Board to succeed a member whose term has expired shall be for a 3-year term. Vacancies occurring for any cause other than expiration of term shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term as provided in this subsection.

(e) A physician-appointee to the Board must be a certified and registered physician in good standing, and must have practiced medicine under the laws of this State for a period of not less than 5 years prior to the physician-appointee's appointment to the Board.

(f) The Governor shall fill vacancies on the Board and, after a hearing, may remove a member of the Board for cause due to the member's neglect of the duties required by this chapter, or on the recommendation of the Board, after a hearing, due to the member's unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.

(g) A member of the Board may not serve more than 3 full, consecutive 3-year terms, which is not diminished by serving an unexpired term. Upon serving 3 full, consecutive 3-year terms, a former member is eligible for reappointment to the Board no earlier than 1 year after the expiration of the last term served on the Board by the former member.

(h)(1) While serving on the Board, a member may not be an officer of any state or local allopathic or osteopathic medical society.

(2) While serving on the Board, a member of the Board may not be a member of the board of directors of a professional review organization.

(j) A member of the Board is eligible to be reimbursed for travel to and from each meeting. However, a member may receive not more than $50 for each meeting attended, and not more than a total of $500 for meetings attended in any calendar year.

60 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 270, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 327, § 5; 64 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 226, §§ 1-4; 67 Del. Laws, c. 368, § 9; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 358, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 319, §§ 1-4, 12, 13.;

(a) The Board annually shall elect from among its members a president, a vice-president, and a secretary, and such other officers as it considers necessary, 2 of whom may be the same person.

(b) The Board may, with the concurrence of the Director of the Division, set job duties for the Board's Executive Director and other necessary staff. The Executive Director may not be a Board member. The Executive Director and other necessary staff are employees of the Division.

(c) The Board, with the approval of the Division, shall establish and maintain an office within this State.

(d) The Board shall meet at least 8 times a year at a public place and at a time as the Board determines, subject to guidelines established or approved by the Division of Professional Regulation.

(e) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, meetings of the Board are open to the public and may be closed to the public only in accordance with the provisions contained in § 10004 of Title 29.

60 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 686, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 5; 75 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 1.;

(a) A quorum for the transaction of business consists of 9 members of the Board entitled to vote. An affirmative vote of at least 5 members of the quorum is required to take any action that the Board has the power to take, unless otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, including the express provisions in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) An affirmative vote of at least 7 members of the Board present and voting at a meeting is required to adopt a regulation which can deprive a physician of the physician's certificate to practice medicine or subject a physician to disciplinary action.

60 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 68, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 1.;

(a) The Board has the following powers and duties, in addition to other powers and duties set forth elsewhere in this chapter:

(1) To investigate, through the Executive Director, the character of each applicant for a certificate to practice medicine, or for a certificate, license, or other authorizing document to practice any other profession or occupation regulated by this chapter, to determine if the applicant has previously engaged in unprofessional conduct pursuant to § 1731(b) of this title, and to investigate the physical and mental capability of physicians to engage in the practice of medicine, or of members of other professions or occupations regulated by this chapter to engage in the practice of their professions or occupations, with reasonable skill and safety to patients pursuant to § 1731(c) of this title;

(2) To conduct or approve of professional or occupational examinations as it deems necessary and proper to determine the professional or occupational qualifications of each person who applies for a certificate to practice medicine in this State, or who applies for a certificate, license, or other authorizing document to practice any other profession or occupation regulated under this chapter;

(3) To investigate, through the Executive Director, complaints or charges of unprofessional conduct against the holder of a certificate to practice medicine, or such complaints or charges against the holder of any certificate, license, or other authorizing document issued under this chapter;

(4) To investigate, through the Executive Director, complaints and charges of the inability of a person to practice medicine, or to practice any other profession or occupation regulated under this chapter, with reasonable skill or safety to patients due to the person's physical, mental, or emotional illness or incompetence, including but not limited to deterioration through the aging process, or loss of motor skill, or excessive use or abuse of drugs, including alcohol;

(5) To investigate, through the Executive Director, complaints of the unauthorized practice of medicine or the unauthorized practice of any other profession or occupation regulated under this chapter;

(6) To levy fines not to exceed $50,000, and to grant, deny, restrict, revoke, suspend, reinstate, or reissue a certificate to practice medicine or a certificate, license, or other authorizing document to practice any profession or occupation regulated under this chapter;

(7) To issue subpoenas, compel the attendance of witnesses, and administer oaths;

(8) To require the production of and receive information regarding changes in hospital privileges as a result of disciplinary or other adverse action taken by a hospital, or regarding disciplinary or other adverse action taken by a medical society against any person certified under this chapter to practice medicine;

(9) To reprimand, censure, take other appropriate disciplinary action, or restrict professional or occupational activities with respect to any person certified to practice medicine in this State or any other person certified, licensed, or otherwise authorized to practice a profession or occupation regulated under this chapter;

(10) To take depositions or cause depositions to be taken, as needed in any investigation, hearing, or proceeding;

(11) To hold hearings;

(12) To promulgate rules and regulations not inconsistent with or beyond the scope of this chapter or other laws of this State for carrying out the powers and duties required by this chapter;

(13) By resolution passed by a majority of the members of the Board, to designate 1 or more committees, with each committee to include 1 or more of the members of the Board and such other person or persons as may be appropriate; provided, however, that a committee may not levy a fine, or grant or refuse to grant, restrict, revoke, suspend, reinstate, or reissue a certificate to practice medicine or a certificate, license, or other authorizing document to practice another profession or occupation issued under this chapter;

(14) To designate records of the Board confidential and exempt from public disclosure, in accordance with § 10002 of Title 29;

(15) To designate 3 members of the Board, through the Executive Director, to act as a hearing panel for the purpose of hearing charges of unprofessional conduct as set forth in § 1731(b) of this title or charges of the inability to practice medicine as set forth in § 1731(c) of this title, or for the purpose of making determinations of fact in connection with the temporary suspension of a certificate to practice medicine pursuant to § 1738 of this title, or for necessary purposes relating to disciplinary or other action against the holder of a certificate, license, or other authorizing document issued under this chapter;

(16) To designate, through the Executive Director, any person qualified by relevant experience as an examiner for the purpose of hearing any alleged charges of the inability to practice medicine as set forth in § 1731(c) of this title, or for the purpose of making determinations of fact in connection with the temporary suspension of a certificate to practice medicine pursuant to § 1738 of this title, or for necessary purposes relating to disciplinary or other action against the holder of a certificate, license, or other authorizing document issued under this chapter;

(17) To perform duties regarding emergency medical services systems and paramedic services set forth in Chapters 97 and 98 of Title 16.

(b) A member of the Board or a member of any committee designated by the Board pursuant to paragraph (a)(13) of this section is immune from claim, suit, liability, damages, or any other recourse, civil or criminal, arising from any act or omission under the authority of this chapter so long as the member acted in good faith and without gross or wanton negligence, with good faith being presumed until proven otherwise, and gross or wanton negligence required to be shown by the complainant.

(c) A member of the Board may not discriminate, by reason of gender, race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, or national origin, against a person holding or applying for a certificate to practice medicine, or for an authorizing document to practice another occupation or profession pursuant to this chapter.

(d) The Board shall provide by rule or regulation for continuing education for persons certified to practice medicine or other professions or occupations pursuant to this chapter.

(e) The Board shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of medicine, the work of a physician assistant, or the practice of respiratory care.

(f) The Board shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing guidelines for the imposition of disciplinary sanctions against persons certified or licensed to practice medicine or other professions or occupations regulated by this chapter.

75 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 321, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 325, § 14; 77 Del. Laws, c. 370, § 1.;

The amount of a fee imposed under this chapter by the Division of Professional Regulation must approximate and reasonably reflect the reasonable projected costs of services or activities provided by the Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division for services or activities provided on behalf of the Board. A separate fee may be charged for each service or activity, but a fee may not be charged for a purpose not specified in this chapter. The application fee for a certificate to practice medicine, or for a certificate, license, or other authorizing document to practice any other profession or occupation regulated by this chapter, may not be combined with any other fee or charge. At the beginning of each licensure biennium, the Division, or another State agency acting in its behalf, shall compute and set the fee for each separate service or activity that the Board or the Division expects to provide during that licensure biennium.

60 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 1.;

The Division of Professional Regulation shall keep a register of all approved applications for certificates to practice medicine, approved applications for authorization to practice any profession or occupation regulated under this chapter, for registrations and renewal of registrations of certificates to practice medicine, for licenses and renewals of licenses to practice as physician assistants, for licenses and renewals of licenses to practice respiratory therapy, and for all other certificates, licenses, registrations, or other authorizing documents to practice any profession or occupation regulated under this chapter and their renewals, granted by the Board. In addition, the Director shall maintain complete records relating to meetings of the Board, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Board's rules and regulations, complaints, hearings, and such other documents as the Board determines. Records of Board proceedings kept by the Division are prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board. An applicant, certificate holder, registrant, or licensee must notify the Division of Professional Regulation of a change in his or her address or in any other information on his or her application, registration, or renewal form within 15 days of the change.

71 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 2.;