Larry Schaefer, whose lengthy employment law career has led him to represent many healthcare professionals Minneapolis, is the author of an article recently published in Minnesota Physician concerning peer reviews for physicians and the employment rights that apply to the process.
What is Peer Review for Physicians?
Most medical professionals who work as an employee at a larger facility have heard the term “peer review” once or twice. It’s the process by which an internal complaint about a physician’s conduct is resolved. A wide range of concerns can be addressed through a peer review, from inadequate patient care to the physician’s behavior around coworkers.
If you or someone you know has participated in or been subject to a peer review in the past, you also likely know that it can be a successful situation– especially if you allow the validity of a superfluous or inaccurate complaint to go unchallenged. For this reason, it’s very important for physicians to understand the employment rights available to them during the peer review process.
Physicians have Legal Protections Against Discrimination
Any physician who is facing a peer review that has been initiated based on discriminatory, retaliatory, or anti-competitive intent will likely be protected by anti-retaliation or “whistleblower” laws. These laws generally protect employees but may not apply to independent contractors, so it’s very important that all physicians understand their rights before the commencement of the peer review process.
Larry’s article in Minnesota Physician offers indispensable information for any medical professional who is currently facing a peer review or may be confronted with one in the future. You can learn more about the intricacies of the physician peer review process here in Larry’s article.