Idaho Regulation of Physicians

In Idaho, regulation of physicians are found in Idaho Code §§ 54-1802 through 54-1841.  Under the circumstances described and in each case subject to the limitations stated, the following persons, though not holding a license to practice medicine in this state, may engage in activities included in the practice of medicine:

(a) A medical officer of the armed forces of the United States, of the United States public health service, or of the veteran’s administration, while engaged in the performance of his official duties;

(b) A person residing in another state or country and authorized to practice medicine there, who is called in consultation by a person licensed in this state to practice medicine, or who for the purpose of furthering medical education is invited into this state to conduct a lecture, clinic, or demonstration, while engaged in activities in connection with the consultation, lecture, clinic, or demonstration, so long as he does not open an office or appoint a place to meet patients or receive calls in this state;

(c) A person authorized to practice medicine in another state or country while rendering medical care in a time of disaster or while caring for an ill or injured person at the scene of an emergency and while continuing to care for such person;

(d) An extern, intern or resident who is registered with the board as provided in this chapter and while engaged in programs authorized pursuant to rules of the board or a physician assistant licensed by the board;

(e) A person authorized or licensed by this state to engage in activities which may involve the practice of medicine;

(f) A person engaged in good faith in the practice of the religious tenets of any church or religious beliefs;

(g) A person administering a remedy, diagnostic procedure or advice as specifically directed by a physician;

(h) A person rendering aid in an emergency, where no fee for the service is contemplated, charged or received;

(i) A person administering a family remedy to a member of the family;

(j) A person who administers treatment or provides advice regarding the human body and its functions that:

(i) Does not use legend drugs or prescription drugs in such practice;

(ii) Uses natural elements such as air, heat, water and light;

(iii) Only uses class I or class II nonprescription, approved, medical devices as defined in section 513 of the federal food, drug and cosmetic act;

(iv) Only uses vitamins, minerals, herbs, natural food products and their extracts, and nutritional supplements; and who

(v) Does not perform surgery;

(vi) Requires each person receiving services to sign a declaration of informed consent which includes an overview of the health care provider’s education which states that the health care provider is not an “M.D.” or “D.O.” and is not licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

Except as provided in subsection (1) of this section, it shall constitute a felony for any person to practice medicine in this state without a license and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a period not to exceed five (5) years, or shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($ 10,000), or shall be punished by both such fine and imprisonment.  Except as provided in subsections (1)(a), (1)(b), and (1)(c) above, it is unlawful for any person to assume or use the title or designation “medical doctor,” “medical physician,” “osteopathic doctor,” “osteopathic physician,” “M.D.” or “D.O.” or any other title, designation, words, letters, abbreviation, sign, card, or device to indicate to the public that such person is licensed to practice medicine pursuant to this chapter unless such person is so licensed, and upon conviction thereof, such person shall be imprisoned not to exceed one (1) year, or shall be fined not more than three thousand dollars ($ 3,000), or shall be punished by both fine and imprisonment.

When a person has been the recipient of services constituting the unlawful practice of medicine, whether or not he knew the rendition of the services was unlawful, proof of the rendition of such unlawful services by the recipient or his personal representative in an action against the provider of such services for damages allegedly caused by the services constitutes prima facie evidence of negligence shifting the burden of proof to such provider of unlawful services.  The following damages in addition to any other remedies provided by law may be recovered in such an action:

(a) The amount of any fees paid for the unlawful services.

(b) Reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

The board shall refer all violations of this section made known to it to appropriate prosecuting attorneys.  The board may render assistance to a prosecuting attorney in the prosecution of a case pursuant to this section[i].

Idaho Code § 54-1805 provides that there is hereby established in the department of self-governing agencies a state board of medicine to be composed of ten (10) members.  The membership of the state board of medicine as it exists on the effective date of this act is hereby confirmed as members of the board for the terms to which they were originally appointed.  The board shall consist of ten (10) members.  The director of the Idaho state police shall be a member of the board. Seven (7) members shall be physicians who are residents of this state and engaged in the active practice of medicine in this state, and two (2) members shall be public members.  All physician appointments to the board shall be for six (6) year terms.  The physician members shall consist of six (6) members who are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state and one (1) member who is licensed to practice osteopathic medicine or osteopathic medicine and surgery in this state.  Whenever a term of a member of the board who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery expires or becomes vacant, the Idaho medical association shall nominate three (3) persons licensed to practice medicine and surgery for each such vacancy, and forward such nominations to the governor who shall appoint from among such nominees, one (1) person to be a member of the board to fill such vacancy.  Whenever a term of the member of the board who is licensed to practice osteopathic medicine or osteopathic medicine and surgery expires or becomes vacant, the Idaho osteopathic association shall nominate three (3) persons licensed to practice osteopathic medicine or osteopathic medicine and surgery for such vacancy, and shall forward the nominations to the governor who shall appoint from among such nominees one (1) person to be a member of the board to fill such vacancy.

Each applicant must submit a completed written application to the board on forms furnished by the board which shall require proof of graduation from a medical school acceptable to the board and successful completion of a postgraduate training program acceptable to the board.  The application shall require a fingerprint-based criminal history check of the Idaho central criminal database and the federal bureau of investigation criminal history database.  Each applicant must submit a full set of the applicant’s fingerprints on forms supplied by the board which shall be forwarded to the Idaho department of law enforcement [Idaho state police] and the federal bureau of investigation identification division for this purpose.  Each applicant must pass an examination conducted by or acceptable to the board which shall thoroughly test the applicant’s fitness to practice medicine. If an applicant fails to pass the examination on two (2) separate occasions, he shall not be eligible to take the examination for at least one (1) year, and before taking the examination again, he must make a showing to the board that he has successfully engaged in a course of study for the purpose of improving his ability to engage in the practice of medicine.  Applicants who fail two (2) separate examinations in another state, territory, or district of the United States or Canada, must make the same showing of successful completion of a course of study prior to examination for licensure.  The board may require an applicant to be personally interviewed by the board or a designated committee of the board. Such an interview shall be limited to a review of the applicant’s qualifications and professional credentials[ii].

Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-1811, any person seeking to be licensed to practice medicine in this state who is licensed to practice medicine in another state must successfully complete the following requirements before a license to practice medicine will be issued:

(1) Each applicant must submit a completed written application to the board on forms furnished by the board which shall require proof of graduation from a medical school acceptable to the board and successful completion of a postgraduate training program acceptable to the board and which contains proof that the applicant has any one (1) of the following qualifications:

(a) The applicant is a diplomat of the national board of medical examiners or the national board of examiners for osteopathic physicians and surgeons;

(b) The applicant holds a valid, unrevoked, unsuspended license to practice medicine and surgery, or osteopathic medicine and surgery in a state, territory or district of the United States or Canada, and the applicant demonstrates that he possesses the requisite qualifications to provide the same standard of health care as provided by licensed physicians in this state.  The board may require further examination to establish such qualifications.

(2) The application shall require a fingerprint-based criminal history check of the Idaho central criminal database and the federal bureau of investigation criminal history database.  Each applicant must submit a full set of the applicant’s fingerprints on forms supplied by the board which shall be forwarded to the Idaho department of law enforcement [Idaho state police] and the federal bureau of investigation identification division for this purpose.

(3) The board may require an applicant to be personally interviewed by the board or a designated committee of the board.  The interview shall be limited to a review of the applicant’s qualifications and professional credentials.

The board may by rule provide for the issuance of a temporary license to a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery in some other state, territory or district of the United States or Canada or to a person who is a diplomat of the national board of medical examiners or a diplomat of the national board of examiners for osteopathic physicians and surgeons or to a physician assistant, provided that such temporary license shall be issued only to persons who have made an application for a permanent license in this state.  The board shall fix and collect a fee for a temporary license and it shall be valid from the date of issuance to the next regular meeting of the board, unless extended by the board.  The board may by rule provide for temporary registration of externs, interns, residents.  The board shall fix and collect a fee for the temporary registration and it shall specify the time period of the temporary registration[iii].

Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-1814, every person licensed to practice medicine, licensed to practice as a physician assistant or registered as an extern, intern or resident in this state is subject to discipline by the board pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter and rules promulgated pursuant thereto upon any of the following grounds:

(1) Conviction of a felony, or a crime involving moral turpitude, or the entering of a plea of guilty or the finding of guilt by a jury or court of commission of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

(2) Use of false, fraudulent or forged statements or documents, diplomas or credentials in connection with any licensing or other requirements of this act.

(3) Practicing medicine under a false or assumed name in this or any other state.

(4) Advertising the practice of medicine in any unethical or unprofessional manner.

(5) Knowingly aiding or abetting any person to practice medicine who is not authorized to practice medicine as provided in this chapter.

(6) Performing or procuring an unlawful abortion or aiding or abetting the performing or procuring of an unlawful abortion.

(7) The provision of health care which fails to meet the standard of health care provided by other qualified physicians in the same community or similar communities, taking into account his training, experience and the degree of expertise to which he holds himself out to the public.

(8) Division of fees or gifts or agreement to split or divide fees or gifts received for professional services with any person, institution or corporation in exchange for referral.

(9) Giving or receiving or aiding or abetting the giving or receiving of rebates, either directly or indirectly.

(10) Inability to obtain or renew a license to practice medicine, or revocation of, or suspension of a license to practice medicine by any other state, territory, district of the United States or Canada, unless it can be shown that such action was not related to the competence of the person to practice medicine or to any conduct designated herein.

(11) Prescribing or furnishing narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs to addicted persons to maintain their addictions and level of usage without attempting to treat the primary condition requiring the use of narcotics.

(12) Prescribing or furnishing narcotic, hypnotic, hallucinogenic, stimulating or dangerous drugs for other than treatment of any disease, injury or medical condition.

(13) Failure to safeguard the confidentiality of medical records or other medical information pertaining to identifiable patients, except as required or authorized by law.

(14) The direct promotion by a physician of the sale of drugs, devices, appliances or goods to a patient that are unnecessary and not medically indicated.

(15) Abandonment of a patient.

(16) Willfully and intentionally representing that a manifestly incurable disease or injury or other manifestly incurable condition can be permanently cured.

(17) Failure to supervise the activities of externs, interns, residents, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, or physician assistants.

(18) Practicing medicine when a license pursuant to this chapter is suspended, revoked or inactive.

(19) Practicing medicine in violation of a voluntary restriction or terms of probation pursuant to this chapter.

(20) Refusing to divulge to the board upon demand the means, method, device or instrumentality used in the treatment of a disease, injury, ailment, or infirmity.

(21) Commission of any act constituting a felony or commission of any act constituting a crime involving moral turpitude.

(22) Engaging in any conduct which constitutes an abuse or exploitation of a patient arising out of the trust and confidence placed in the physician by the patient.

A licensed physician and surgeon possessing knowledge of a violation of section 54-1814, Idaho Code, by any other physician and surgeon licensed to practice medicine in Idaho shall with reasonable promptness report such knowledge to the board of medicine or its duly authorized committee, agency or representative, and failure to do so shall subject such person to disciplinary action by the state board of medicine as in its discretion the board shall deem proper, pursuant to procedures provided in chapter 18, title 54, Idaho Code; provided, no person shall be civilly liable for communications, reports or acts of any kind made, given or handled under the provisions of this act.  However, notwithstanding the foregoing, no physician or surgeon shall be required to report, nor shall any physician or surgeon report, any information known, learned or discovered by that physician or surgeon as a result of participation in peer review or access to peer review records, as defined in section 39-1392a, Idaho Code.  This provision shall not relieve a health care organization of its notification obligations as set forth in section 39-1393, Idaho Code[iv].

[i] Idaho Code § 54-1804.

[ii] Idaho Code § 54-1810.

[iii] Idaho Code § 54-1813.

[iv] Idaho Code § 54-1818.


Inside Idaho Regulation of Physicians