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Iowa Board of Medicine: A doctor’s personal lifestyle that doesn’t affect her work is none of the IBM’s business


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5/29/2013
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Mt. Diablo, CaliforniaThe Iowa Board of Medicine’s jurisdictional limits under Iowa Code section 147.55 are in the Iowa Supreme Court's sight in this reported decision. This case demonstrates, and in my opinion the court is warning the board, about issuing its “press releases” in cases that are not final. These press releases are being used in such a way as to put unwarranted pressure on physicians to kowtow to the wishes of the Iowa Board of Medicine. This is unfair and in my opinion abuses the power of the Board. In this case the press releases proved to be unfounded as beyond the Board’s jurisdictional limits. This Board does not have magic powers to predict the future and although they may not like a physician's personal lifestyle choices, if those choices do not affect their practice, it's not our business to try and predict the future. The facts in this case walk a fine line between where jurisdictionof the Iowa Board of Medicine begins and ends.

The burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, which is not an exceptionally high standard for all that is at stake. Which means the Board needs to act with reason and make decisions based upon real evidence, not speculation.

No. 12-1216. [3-222] SMOKER v. IOWA BOARD OF MEDICINE

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, D.J. Stovall, Judge. REVERSED AND REMANDED. Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Danilson and Mullins, JJ. Opinion by Doyle, P.J. (16 pages)

Wendy Smoker, M.D., appeals from the district court ruling on judicial review that affirmed the disciplinary action of the Iowa Board of Medicine. OPINION HOLDS: We reverse the decision of the district court and remand to the Board for entry of an order dismissing the disciplinary action against her. 



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