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South Dakota Regulation of Physicians

In South Dakota, the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners is the authorized agency for granting license to applicants for the practice of medicine or osteopathy, surgery, or obstetrics[i].  The applicant for a license must have completed eighteen years of age and is of good moral character[ii].  In addition, the applicant has to pass an examination, determined by the board to establish professional competence.  The applicant should have graduated from a medical or osteopathic college approved by the board and shall present satisfactory evidence of successful completion of a program as an intern or resident, or of equivalent service approved by the board, in a hospital approved by the board, for such time as the board requires by rule[iii].

Each applicant shall be required to attain an average percentage of at least seventy-five percent of correct answers in the qualifying examination[iv].  An applicant who fails to qualify for the examination is entitled to two subsequent attempts upon payment of the required fee at any regular meeting of the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners or at such time and place as the board may designate.  The fee shall not exceed five hundred fifty dollars and have to be paid by the applicant prior to the examination.  The applicant must pass all parts or steps of the examination within seven years[v].  However, if the applicant is board-certified by a board of the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners may waive this requirement.  All grades achieved shall be preserved by the secretary of the board for a minimum period of three years.

In the event of an urgent requirement for a qualified medical practitioner in the government service, the board may issue a temporary permit to an applicant who has satisfactorily passed a special examination and paid a fee not to exceed fifty dollars for the examination, notwithstanding that the applicant has not completed the period of internship or residence training in a hospital approved by the board and has failed or has been unable to satisfactorily show that he is a graduate of an approved medical or osteopathic college.  A temporary permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance and entitles the licensee to engage in the practice of medicine, surgery, and obstetrics and their branches as a state employee under the supervision of a licensed physician in such state-owned and operated medical institution and not elsewhere.  Such a temporary permit may be renewed by the board upon application to it on an annual basis and the payment of an annual renewal fee of not to exceed fifteen dollars.  A temporary permit holder is subject to all restrictions, responsibilities, and privileges inuring to regular licensees.

The board has discretion to refuse to grant a license, certificate, or permit on the grounds of unprofessional, immoral, or dishonorable conduct on the part of the applicant[vi].  The board is also empowered to cancel, revoke, suspend, or limit the license, certificate, or permit of any physician, surgeon, or osteopathic physician or surgeon upon satisfactory proof by a preponderance of the evidence of such a licensee’s professional incompetence, or unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.  However, the board may not base a finding of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct solely on the basis that a licensee, certificate holder, or permit holder practices chelation therapy.  Professional incompetence is deemed to be a deviation from a minimum degree of skill and knowledge necessary for the performance of characteristic tasks of a physician or surgeon in at least a reasonably effective way[vii].

A non resident physician is authorized to practice medicine or osteopathy in South Dakota while located outside of state[viii].  Such a person may provide services through electronic means to a patient located in South Dakota under a contract with a licensed health care provider or a licensed health care facility.  Consultation between a non-resident physician or osteopath and a licensed physician or osteopath is governed by S.D. Codified Laws § 36-2-9.  The license shall be renewed upon payment of an annual fee set by the board, not exceeding the sum of two hundred dollars[ix].

Practice of medicine without a license, certificate, or permit issued by the board is a Class 1 misdemeanor[x].

If a court of competent jurisdiction has adjudged a licensee or permit holder as mentally incompetent or insane, the board shall suspend such person’s license or permit. Such suspension shall continue until the licensee or permit holder is found or adjudged by such court to be restored to reason or until such person is duly discharged as restored to reason in any other manner provided by law[xi].  The license or permit holder shall thereafter appear before the board at a regular or special meeting of the board to apply for such reinstatement.  In such a situation, the board has discretion to mandate any probationary conditions as it deems necessary for the best interests of licensee or permit holder.

The board has power to seek an injunction from a court of competent jurisdiction to restrain practice by a licensee guilty of violations or unprofessional conduct[xii].  Such an application for an injunction is an alternate to criminal proceedings, and the board cannot initiate its own disciplinary proceedings simultaneously[xiii].  The commencement of one proceeding by the board constitutes an election of remedy.

The board has power to reissue a license, resident certificate, or resident training permit to practice to any person whose license, resident certificate, or resident training permit has been canceled, suspended, or revoked.  However, such application can be made only after one year of such cancellation or revocation[xiv].

[i] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-11.

[ii] Id.

[iii] Id.

[iv] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-17.

[v] Id.

[vi] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-28.

[vii] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-29.

[viii] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-41.

[ix] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-24.1.

[x] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-8.

[xi] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-32.

[xii] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-34.

[xiii] Id.

[xiv] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-4-31.

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