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Doctors warned that they could lose their license for contradicting CDC info on COVID treatments and vaccines

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The Federation of State Medical Boards, a nonprofit that represents all US state medical boards, warns that doctors who deliberately contradict CDC guidelines on COVID risk losing their license to practice medicine in their respective jurisdictions.

This, they believe, could help curb the spread of what they say is misinformation on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

According to a statement emailed to Becker’s Hospital Review by the FSMB, any health professionals who create or spread vaccine misinformation or disinformation risk disciplinary action by state medical boards, including suspension or revocation of their medical license.

Dr Michael Ward, a Family Practice Doctor at Utica Park Clinic in Glenpool had this to say:

“It comes down to that very simple thing, are you willing to take that chance and if you are, that is your decision and as a physician, I have to honor it.”

He claims that the decision to be vaccinated has been difficult for his patients, which he blames on the spread of false information.

“I would call it a sad thing that there is so much disinformation.” says the author. Dr Ward.

“Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust and therefore have a powerful platform in society, whether they recognize it or not,” FSMB stated.

“They also have an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interests of their patients and must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health.”

The FSMB has not yet explicitly defined “misinformation” or “disinformation” in its policy, but an FSMB spokesperson told Becker that the organization’s ethical committee is investigating the concerns of physician misinformation and disinformation and hopes to give further guidance at a later date.

“However, we currently view misinformation as sharing or distributing verifiably false information,” said the spokesperson. “We define disinformation as sharing or distributing information that the distributor knows is false.”

While the FSMB has not yet made a recommendation for the definitions of misinformation and disinformation, state and territorial medical boards may use vague terms like “professional misconduct” or “ethics violation” to address concerns about misinformation and disinformation in their procedures.

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