Georgia's Patient Right to Know Act

As explained in an earlier advisory, Georgia’s Patient Right to Know Act of 2001 required Georgia’s Composite State Board of Medical Examiners (“the Board”) to create and maintain a “profile” on each physician licensed to practice medicine in Georgia. The board is currently in the process of implementing this law, which mandates that the board must provide a copy of a physician’s profile to any person who requests it. 

Each physician’s profile will contain information related to twenty-one (21) different subjects. Many of the subjects are demographic in nature, including information that identifies the physician’s medical school, graduate medical education, board certification, years of experience, practice location, hospital privileges, and participation in the Medicaid program. Other profile information concerning the physician will include, if applicable, felony criminal convictions; disciplinary actions taken by the board; restrictions, revocations, nonrenewals, or resignations of hospital staff that relate to competence or character; certain malpractice judgments and settlements; and violations of this law. 

To gather information for inclusion in each profile, the board recently mailed each licensed physician a questionnaire. As indicated in the board’s correspondence, each physician must complete and return the questionnaire by the April 24, 2003, deadline. The timely completion of the profile questionnaire is the responsibility of each licensed physician (and cannot be completed by the physician’s employer or the hospital[s] where the physician enjoys privileges). The board has indicated that a physician’s failure to complete the questionnaire in a timely manner may lead to licensure-related disciplinary action. 

Similarly, each physician is legally required to report any future revisions, additions, or other updates to his/her profile information. A physician’s failure to provide timely updates may also lead to a license-related sanction. 

The Patient Right to Know Act can be read on the Internet by going to, clicking on “For Professionals," and then clicking on “Patient Right to Know Act of 2001.” The mandatory profile questionnaire may be completed online by going to that same website, clicking on “For Professionals," and then clicking on “Physician Profiles." 

Effective as of April 8, 2003