North Dakota medical board disciplines 11 doctors this year
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The state Board of Medicine brought 11 formal disciplinary actions against North Dakota doctors this year, including three sanctions that resulted in physicians losing their license to practice in the state, the watchdog panel reported Wednesday.
Figures released to The Associated Press show the number of disciplinary actions in 2021 was two fewer than the previous year, but matched the annual tally in 2018 and 2019.
Sandra DePountis, the board’s executive director, said the panel does not meet in December and no other sanctions are currently pending.
Alcohol-related incidents typically make up the bulk of the board’s sanctions, DePountis said. Doctors are given a chance to enter a program that requires them to submit to random drug and alcohol screening before more serious sanctions are sought, she said.
Doctors in the state also were disciplined for such things as incompetence, unethical behavior, substandard care, and criminal offenses, DePountis said.
Two doctors — Daniel Canchola and Padmini Nagaraj — lost their licenses this year for federal health care fraud, records show.
Craig Grorud, the owner of a Bismarck spa where authorities allege prostitution and human trafficking occurred, lost his license indefinitely, records show. He was charged with felony facilitating prostitution after a raid but pleaded guilty in March to a reduced charge of misdemeanor promoting prostitution. He was sentenced to two years of probation.
The North Dakota Board of Medicine was established in 1890 to license physicians and discipline them if they violate rules or law. The 13-member panel is made up of 10 doctors, a physician assistant and two lay members — all appointed by the governor.
The group reviews up to 120 cases against doctors annually, DePountis said.
North Dakota has 2,031 licensed doctors who live in the state, and 3,167 who are licensed but live out of state.
The panel has been listed among the best performing state medical boards in the U.S. by a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. The Public Citizen Health Research Group, founded by Ralph Nader, calculates the rate of serious disciplinary actions taken by medical boards per 1,000 doctors in each state.