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State Medical Board Adopts Conflict-of-Interest Rules, Tiptoes Toward Transparency

The state medical board adopted new conflict-of-interest rules Wednesday. Jonathan Ellis reports that members of the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners will be expected to recuse themselves from contested cases involving relatives, business connections, and doctors whose peer review committees they have supervised. Board members will also be expected to disclose other potential conflicts that may prompt the rest of the board to require recusal…

…to which I can only say, ‘What, the Board doesn’t already do that?”

Of course, if you’re going to have rules, you have to provide information that will help the public enforce them:

Dr. Lars Aanning, a retired surgeon from Yankton, testified that even with the new rules, it’s difficult for members of the public or medical community to identify potential conflicts because there is no biographical information about the nine members on the board’s website. In contrast, Aanning pointed out, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice contains detailed biographical information about board members. That includes where they received their educations and where they’ve practiced medicine.

“I think an effort to be more transparent and more physician-friendly, I think this board should similarly do that,” Aanning said.

Following the hearing, Deb Bowman, one of two nondoctors on the board, agreed with Aanning’s point.

“We should have no problem doing that,” Bowman said [Jonathan Ellis, “Doctor Review Board Adopts Conflict Rules,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.03.11].

Ah, Minnesota, once again showing South Dakota how government should work.


  1. tara volesky 2015-03-12

    Dr. Aanning has always been about putting his patients first. He stands up for what is right instead of what is politically correct. Thanks for holding the medical and osteopathic examiner board accountable.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-12

    MN is continuing to work on greater transparency for medical professionals of all kinds. The state is especially focused on publishing cost comparisons for common surgical and diagnostic procedures. That’s proven to be very difficult and unpopular among the medical community, but the public loves it.

  3. leslie 2015-03-12

    professions, docs, lawyers, engineers, others typically have ethics rules including conflicts of interest.

    now politicians, maybe notsomuch, but Rapid City used to provide ethics seminars for city council members ect. maybe muni bond issuers or insurance companies required it??

  4. leslie 2015-03-12

    i meant to wonder, is this a boz reaction?

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