Your article on weeding out incompetent doctors (MEDICINE, May 26) makes the error of assuming that state medical boards can act autonomously in controlling dangerous physicians. The chain of effective discipline starts . with reporting the offense, followed by investigation and then the prosecution, none of which are in the hands of a medical board. A physician thought to be incompetent must be accorded full protection of the law and can be punished only after a fair hearing, to which can be added the right of appeal. This is as it should be, but it takes time. Rather than direct criticism...

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