How much do you know about your doctor? Do you know if he or she has been involved in hospital suspensions, safety violations, felony convictions, drug or alcohol offenses, or medical malpractice? Do you think you have a right to know this information about your physician?

In 2007 in North Carolina a law was passed that said that patients do have a right to access certain information about their doctors and health professionals. Now, the North Carolina Medical Board offers online readers more information about their doctors than most other medical boards in the country.

The North Carolina Medical Board and the North Carolina Medical Society have been in conflict for years about the amount of disciplinary information and medical malpractice information to include on the website. While the website originally planned on listing all medical malpractice settlements over $25,000, a compromise was later reached that raised the limit to $75,000.

The website, which began the new postings on December 1, now includes information about physicians and physicians’ assistances regarding suspensions or revocations of hospital privileges, disciplinary orders of any regulatory agency or board; felony convictions; misdemeanor convictions involving offenses against a person; offenses of moral turpitude and those involving drugs or alcohol or violations of public health and safety codes; and the malpractice lawsuit payment information mentioned above.

The medical board hopes that the online information will help patients chose appropriate health care professionals and make health care professionals more responsible for their past actions.