Doctors who spread COVID misinformation face decertification, according to medical boards.


Doctors who spread COVID misinformation face decertification, according to medical boards.

Three respected medical boards in the United States have cautioned doctors that spreading false information regarding COVID-19 could result in their decertification.

The American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Family Medicine, and the American Board of Pediatrics published a joint statement on Tuesday warning that “giving disinformation about a serious disease is unethical, unprofessional, and hazardous.”

The boards backed the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), which represents state medical licensing boards, and its warning to doctors in late July that spreading COVID-19 falsehoods might result in their medical licenses being revoked.

“We also want all physicians certified by our Boards to be aware that unethical or unprofessional behavior may compel their respective Board to take action that could jeopardize their certification,” the joint statement stated. “Spreading incorrect information or misinformation to the public during a public health emergency runs against to everything our Boards and our community of board-certified physicians stand for.”

“The evidence that we have COVID-19 vaccinations that are safe, efficacious, and widely available is overwhelming,” it continued. “At a time when vaccinations continue to exhibit good effectiveness against severe illness, hospitalization, and death, we are particularly worried about physicians who use their authority to disparage vaccination.”

The FSMB issued a similar statement on July 29 regarding physicians who promote vaccine misinformation, warning that those who “generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation risk disciplinary action by state medical boards, including suspension or revocation of their medical license.”

Doctors do not need to be board certified to practice medicine, but getting and maintaining board certifications can be beneficial since they may imply a degree of skill and experience in a subject that non-certified doctors lack. Any doctor, however, must have a medical license because practicing medicine without one is prohibited.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of doctors and other medical professionals have advocated for the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and have refused to spread false information about the virus, a small minority has profited from spreading false information about the vaccine and promoting unproven and potentially harmful “treatments.”

It is unclear how this will be accomplished. This is a condensed version of the information.


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