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State auditors say they were blocked from thoroughly auditing NC Medical Board investigations

Stethoscopes are pictured in an intensive care unit.
State auditors say they were blocked from completing a thorough audit of North Carolina Medical Board investigations.

State auditors say they were blocked from completing a thorough audit of North Carolina Medical Board investigations.

Auditors say there's no way to know whether medical board investigations into doctors are adequately protecting the public.

According to a 58-page report, the medical board denied state auditors access to investigative records, citing state law.

Auditors say they are exempted from that law, and now want the North Carolina legislature to consider clarifying the law to explicitly give them access.

Even lacking complete access, however, auditors still found examples where the medical board didn't take public action to protect patient safety, like physicians who kept licenses for months even after charges of indecent exposure or sexual assault.

The medical board disagreed with large swaths of the audit, saying it is bound by state law and that it does, in fact, provide good oversight that protects patients