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Mississippi Regulation of Physicians

The Mississippi statute under Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-1 through § 73-25-34 deals with regulation of physicians in the state.  Pursuant to the statute, the State Board of Medical Licensure issues a license[i] to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine[ii] after conducting an examination.  Any person who desires to practice has to make a written application to the board at least 10 days before the date of examination.  Examinations will be conducted every year at the capital[iii].  The Mississippi code empowers the board to issue license to those persons who possess sufficient learning in those branches along with good moral character which is determined through an investigation[iv].  To assist the board in investigation the candidate has to undergo fingerprint-based criminal history records check of the Mississippi central criminal database and the Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history database.  The candidate also has to clear the verification that s/he is not guilty of or in violation of any statutory ground for denial of licensure on grounds of nonissuance, suspension, revocation, restriction, denial of reinstatement, or denial of renewal of license[v].  The grounds for denial also include:

  1. Habitual personal use of narcotic drugs, or any other drug having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability;
  2. Habitual use of intoxicating liquors, or any beverage, to an extent which affects professional competency;
  3. Administering, dispensing or prescribing any narcotic drug, or any other drug having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability otherwise than in the course of legitimate professional practice;
  4. Conviction for violation of any federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution or use of any narcotic drug or any drug considered a controlled substance under state or federal law, a certified copy of the conviction order or judgment rendered by the trial court being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendancy of any appeal;
  5. Procuring, or attempting to procure, or aiding in, an abortion that is not medically indicated;
  6. Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, a certified copy of the conviction order or judgment rendered by the trial court being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendancy of any appeal and other reasons as stated in the statute.

Furthermore, the applicant during filing of application has to furnish social security numbers or other information as required by the State Board of Medical Licensure[vi].

Pursuant to the statute, every person who receives license to practice medicine must file it in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which s/he resides or practices.  The license should be filed within 60 days from the date of issuance; and it will be recorded by the clerk in a book kept in his/her office with his/her certificate of filing attached thereto after the licensee has paid the required fee.  When recorded, the clerk shall deliver the original on demand to the licensee[vii].

Miss.Code Ann. § 73-25-14 states that every person who has been issued a license to practice has to renew it annually.  For the same the board will mail a notice, with instructions for obtaining and submitting applications for renewal.  Issuance of a new license would be at the discretion of the board in cases where the license issued is lost, or the licensee fails to record the license within 60 days[viii].

In pursuance to the code, the board may issue a temporary license to an individual which shall be valid for a period of one year[ix].  The temporary license is issued to nonresident physicians and retired resident physicians to practice medicine at a youth camp licensed by the board.  The code further provides that non-resident physicians not holding a license from the state shall not be permitted to practice medicine under any circumstances after remaining in the state for five days.  Exception is provided to nonresident physicians who are called in for consultation by a licensed physician residing in the state and also to those non-residents who hold a temporary license[x].

Furthermore, the code under § 73-25-21 grants license to practice medicine without examination as to learning to graduates in medicine or osteopathic medicine who hold license to practice medicine from another state, provided the requirements in such state are equal to those required by the state board of medical licensure.

The code under § 73-25-27 authorize the board to suspend or revoke a license after giving proper notice and opportunity for a hearing to the licentiate.  In addition, the board is empowered to  discipline the holder of a license who has been found by the board in violation of that statute after notice and a hearing as provided by law, and the licensee shall be disciplined as follows: by placing him upon probation, the terms of which may be set by the board, or by suspending his/her right to practice for a time deemed proper by the board, or by revoking his/her license, or by taking any other action in relation to his/her license as the board may deem proper under the circumstances[xi].

The code also empowers the board to suspend or revoke license in case of inability of the licensee to practice medicine with reasonable skill or safety to patients by reason of mental illness, physical illness, including but not limited to deterioration through the aging process, or loss of motor skill, excessive use or abuse of drugs, including alcohol[xii].

In pursuance of the code, the board has a right to examine records upon reasonable cause[xiii] such as: a single incident of gross negligence, a pattern of inappropriate prescribing of controlled substances, an act of incompetence or negligence causing death or serious bodily injury, a pattern of substandard medical care, a pattern of unnecessary surgery or unindicated medical procedures, disciplinary action taken against a physician or podiatrist by a licensed hospital or by the medical staff of the hospital, voluntary termination by a physician or podiatrist of staff privileges or having restrictions placed thereon, or habitual personal use of narcotic drugs or other drugs having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability, or the habitual personal use of intoxicating liquors or alcoholic beverages, to an extent which affects professional competency.

Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-59 provides that the physician may request in writing to the board a restriction of his/her license to practice medicine.

[i] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-1.

[ii] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-25.

[iii] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-7.

[iv] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-3.

[v] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-29.

[vi] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-5.

[vii] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-13.

[viii] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-15.

[ix] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-17.

[x] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-19.

[xi] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-30.

[xii] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-53.

[xiii] Miss. Code Ann. § 73-25-28.

Inside Mississippi Regulation of Physicians