Cover art for podcast The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

271 EpisodesProduced by Los Angeles TimesWebsite

“The Times” is a podcast from the Los Angeles Times hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano along with reporters from our diverse newsroom. Every weekday, our podcast takes listeners beyond the headlines, with our West Coast outlook on the world. News, entertainment, the environment, immigration, polit… read more


What does it take for a doctor to lose their license?

The Medical Board of California was established to protect patients by licensing doctors and investigating complaints when things go wrong.

But even when it accuses a doctor of causing patients to lose limbs, become paralyzed or die, the board often lets the doctor continue to practice. There’s no limit on the number of times the board can put a doctor on probation.

Today we speak with L.A. Times investigative reporter Jack Dolan. He, along with our colleague Kim Christensen, looked into how and why the medical board rarely takes away doctors’ licenses and has long pushed back against calls to toughen its approach. We’ll also hear from people who were operated on by California doctors who were on probation and woke up from their surgeries worse off than they were before.

More reading:

Botched surgeries and death: How the California Medical Board keeps negligent doctors in business

A doctor was charged in a billion-dollar fraud scheme. But his license remains active

Critics say physicians ‘cartel’ obstructing efforts to punish bad doctors

Finding information about your doctor isn’t always easy. Here are some ways to dig deeper

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