Fingerprint Background Checks For Doctors - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/18/07-Texas

Fingerprint Background Checks For Doctors

It's a safeguard for teachers, and day-care workers, and now, your doctors will soon join the ranks.

The Texas Medical Board is now putting in tougher criminal background checks. The action comes after an investigation this year that revealed a registered sex offender, recognized twice by the State legislature as Doctor of the Day.

Starting in September all Texas doctors applying to the get their State Medical Board certification are required to undergo a mandatory fingerprint background check.

"We look at Texas criminal records through a name search with the Department of Public Safety. We look at national database, sex offender database, and other databases," said Jaime Garanflo, Director of Licensure and Customer Affairs about the current checks in place for applicants.

Now, the Board is taking on more fool-proof measures to make sure doctors aren't hiding anything.

"Anybody who is in Texas who applies for a license would be fingerprinted at a site. That company would send the prints through the Department of Public Safety who would then submit to FBI. The agency would get a report back from both DPS and the FBI," said Garanflo.

These new electronic fingerprint checks will go beyond people trying to get a license now.

"Right now we are talking about applicants and then later implementing the possibility for all existing physicians," said Garanflo.

Most physicians who have nothing to hide have no concern in having themselves undergo a background check. Local Physician and Smith County Medical Board President Dr. Jonathan MacClements says this is a good thing for both local doctors and patients.

"This would absolutely ensure that the patients are safe regarding the physician that is treating them.  As a profession it is absolutely our responsibility to ensure that the physicians who take care of the public are honorable members of the society," said Dr. MacClements.

The State Medical Board previously required fingerprint checks using paper, but they had a number of problems and decided to get rid of it. But, with the new electronic scanning there will be less room for error, and the fingerprints stored to keep tabs on your doctors.

Anyone can look up the background on any Texas doctor at www.tmb.state.tx.us

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

Powered by Frankly