An Update from the Chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards

By Gregory B. Snyder, MD
Monday, June 19, 2017

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is in its 105th year assisting state medical and osteopathic boards in carrying out their mission to protect the public through the proper licensing, disciplining and regulation of physicians and other healthcare professionals. Our nation’s 70 state medical and osteopathic boards play a crucial and unparalleled role in promoting quality health care and patient safety.

Last month, I began my yearlong term as Chair of the FSMB and will be working closely with members of state medical boards on a number of critically important issues to the medical regulatory community. I look forward to enhancing our ability to serve these boards by promoting best practices and providing policies, advocacy and educational resources that add to their effectiveness.

Gregory B. Snyder, MD

One of the most valuable resources we provide to state medical boards is the development of guidelines and recommendations on policy initiatives that are impacting medical regulation. We recently adopted “Guidelines for the Chronic Use of Opioid Analgesics” that provide state medical boards with updated knowledge and tools to combat our nation’s worsening opioid epidemic. Those guidelines were the product of an FSMB workgroup charged with engaging experts in pain medicine and addiction and thought leaders over 18 months to conduct a thorough review of existing policy and guidance documents on the prescribing of opioids in the treatment of pain.

The FSMB is also tackling a number of timely policy topics that will continue to have an impact on the healthcare community in the coming years. Our Workgroup on Physician Wellness and Burnout is working diligently to identify resources and strategies to address physician burnout, and our Workgroup on Education About Medical Regulation is continuing to develop methods to best educate medical students and residents on medical licensing and regulation.

Beginning this year, we will be convening our Workgroup on Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) to evaluate the impact of mandatory PDMP query on patient outcomes and prescribing, as well as developing recommendations to state boards regarding physician utilization of PDMPs. Another topic drawing attention in the medical regulatory community is the study of regenerative and stem cell therapy practices. We have formed a workgroup that will evaluate the prevalence and incidences of patient harm related to adult stem cell therapies and identify best practices for investigating complaints of patient harm, fraud and compliance with licensure requirements.

As Chair of the FSMB, I am looking forward to a busy and productive year in providing our member boards with the support and resources they need to continue their critically important work of protecting the public.

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