Connecticut Regulation of Physicians

The Connecticut regulation of physicians are found in Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 20-8 through 20-14l.  Pursuant to the statutes, no person shall, for compensation, gain or reward, received or expected, diagnose, treat, operate for or prescribe for any injury, deformity, ailment or disease, actual or imaginary, of another person, nor practice surgery, until s/he has obtained such a license as provided in section 20-10, and then only in the kind or branch of practice stated in such license[i].

Except as provided in section 20-12, each person applying for a license under section 20-13 shall certify to the Department of Public Health that the applicant:

(1) (A) Is a graduate of a medical school located in the United States or Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or of a medical education program accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, or

(B) is a graduate of a medical school located outside the United States or Canada and has received the degree of doctor of medicine, osteopathic medicine or its equivalent and satisfies educational requirements specified in regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter and has either (i) successfully completed all components of a “fifth pathway program” conducted by an American medical school accredited by the American Medical Association or the American Osteopathic Association, or (ii) received certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates;

(2) has successfully completed not less than two years of progressive graduate medical training as a resident physician in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association or an equivalent program approved by the board with the consent of the department; and

(3) has passed an examination prescribed by the department with the advice and consent of the appropriate examining board. Examinations required under this section shall be administered by the Department of Public Health under the supervision of the appropriate examining board.  Passing scores shall be established by said department with the consent of the appropriate examining board.  The department may, under such regulations as the Commissioner of Public Health may adopt, with the advice and assistance of the appropriate board, deny eligibility for licensure to a graduate who has been found to have provided fraudulent or inaccurate documentation regarding either the graduate’s school’s educational program or academic credentials or to have failed to meet educational standards as prescribed in such regulations.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-10 provides that except as provided in section 20-12, each person applying for a license under section 20-13 shall certify to the Department of Public Health that the applicant:

(1) (A) Is a graduate of a medical school located in the United States or Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or of a medical education program accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, or (B) is a graduate of a medical school located outside the United States or Canada and has received the degree of doctor of medicine, osteopathic medicine or its equivalent and satisfies the educational requirements specified in regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter and has either (i) successfully completed all components of a “fifth pathway program” conducted by an American medical school accredited by the American Medical Association or the American Osteopathic Association, or (ii) received certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates;

(2) has successfully completed not less than two years of progressive graduate medical training as a resident physician in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association or an equivalent program approved by the board with the consent of the department; and

(3) has passed an examination prescribed by the department with the advice and consent of the appropriate examining board. Examinations required under this section shall be administered by the Department of Public Health under the supervision of the appropriate examining board.  Passing scores shall be established by said department with the consent of the appropriate examining board.  The department may, under such regulations as the Commissioner of Public Health may adopt, with the advice and assistance of the appropriate board, deny eligibility for licensure to a graduate who has been found to have provided fraudulent or inaccurate documentation regarding either the graduate’s school’s educational program or academic credentials or to have failed to meet educational standards as prescribed in such regulations.

Any person who has complied with the provisions of section 20-10 or section 20-12, and who files the proof thereof with the Department of Public Health, shall receive from the department a license, which shall include a statement that the person named therein is qualified to practice medicine and surgery[ii].

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-13c, the board is authorized to restrict, suspend or revoke the license or limit the right to practice of a physician or take any other action in accordance with section 19a-17, for any of the following reasons:

(1) Physical illness or loss of motor skill, including, but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process;

(2) emotional disorder or mental illness;

(3) abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals;

(4) illegal, incompetent or negligent conduct in the practice of medicine;

(5) possession, use, prescription for use, or distribution of controlled substances or legend drugs, except for therapeutic or other medically proper purposes;

(6) misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in the obtaining or reinstatement of a license to practice medicine;

(7) failure to adequately supervise a physician assistant;

(8) failure to fulfill any obligation resulting from participation in the National Health Service Corps;

(9) failure to maintain professional liability insurance or other indemnity against liability for professional malpractice as provided in subsection (a) of section 20-11b;

(10) failure to provide information requested by the department for purposes of completing a health care provider profile, as required by section 20-13j;

(11) engaging in any activity for which accreditation is required under section 19a-690 or 19a-691 without the appropriate accreditation required by section 19a-690 or 19a-691;

(12) failure to provide evidence of accreditation required under section 19a-690 or 19a-691 as requested by the department pursuant to section 19a-690 or 19a-691;

(13) failure to comply with the continuing medical education requirements set forth in section 20-10b; or

(14) violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation established hereunder. In each case, the board shall consider whether the physician poses a threat, in the practice of medicine, to the health and safety of any person.  If the board finds that the physician poses such a threat, the board shall include such finding in its final decision and act to suspend or revoke the license of said physician.

The state society or any county society or any physician or hospital shall within thirty days, and the board or any individual may, file a petition when such society, physician or hospital or said board or individual has any information which appears to show that a physician is or may be unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill or safety for any of the reasons listed in section 20-13c.  Petitions shall be filed with the Department of Public Health on forms supplied by the department, shall be signed and sworn and shall set forth in detail the matters complained of.  Any health care facility licensed under section 19a-493 which terminates or restricts the staff membership or privileges of any physician shall, not later than fifteen days after the effective date of such action, notify the department of such action.  The department shall notify any health care facility licensed under section 19a-493 if the board suspends, revokes, or otherwise restricts the license of any physician.  The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to implement a system of notification in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.  A physician shall report to the department any disciplinary action similar to an action specified in subsection (a) of section 19a-17 taken against him by a duly authorized professional disciplinary agency of any other state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory, or a foreign jurisdiction, within thirty days of such action.  Failure to so report may constitute a ground for disciplinary action under section 20-13c[iii].

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-13k provides that not later than January 1, 2006, the Department of Public Health, with the advice and assistance of the Connecticut Medical Examining Board and relevant medical professional associations, shall establish guidelines for use in the disciplinary process.  Such guidelines shall include, but need not be limited to:

(1) Identification of each type of violation;

(2) a range of penalties for each type of violation;

(3) additional optional conditions that may be imposed by the board for each violation;

(4) identification of factors the board shall consider in determining what penalty should apply;

(5) conditions, such as mitigating factors or other facts, that may be considered in allowing deviations from the guidelines; and

(6) a provision that when a deviation from the guidelines occurs, the reason for the deviation shall be identified.  Such guidelines shall not be considered regulations, as defined in section 4-166.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-13l, the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney shall notify the Department of Public Health immediately, in writing, when criminal charges are brought against a physician licensed by the department for reckless endangerment within the scope of the physician’s medical practice, manslaughter, or murder.  Upon such notification, the department may initiate an investigation of the physician to determine whether any disciplinary action should be taken against the physician, including possible suspension of his or her license, while such criminal charges are pending against the physician.

[i] Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-9.

[ii] Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-13.

[iii] Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-13d.


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