Since 2006, Georgia Watch has pushed the legislature to add more consumer members to the State Medical Board – members who work outside the medical profession. Consumer members help balance the interests on the board and improve the representation of average consumers in closed-door disciplinary hearings. Disciplinary hearings occur after alleged incidents of malpractice or negligence.
House Bill 509 will increase the size of Georgia’s board to two consumer members and 13 physicians, which is comparable to other southeastern states. It passed with little opposition and will be signed into law in June.