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AZ.gov Arizona's Official Website Arizona Board of Podiatry Examiners
Arizona Board of Podiatry Examiners AZ.gov Arizona's Official Web Site

 


Complaints

Complaints

Filing a Complaint
Anyone may file a complaint against a licensed podiatrist. All complaints should be submitted in writing and may be made using the Board’s Complaint Form, (available on the Forms and Applications” page or by calling the Board’s office), or any other legible written format. The complaint should be sent to the Board’s office address by regular mail.

A complaint should include enough information to clearly explain your questions or concerns. Specific details should be included such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates, details of the incident, and witness information if applicable. A complaint must specify the name of the doctor against whom the complaint is being made, otherwise it is not possible to conduct an investigation.

Please note, once a complaint has been filed it cannot be withdrawn at any time for any reason. All complaints must be investigated and presented to the Board for review and possible action.

A note regarding anonymous complaints: In most cases, it is extremely difficult to investigate anonymous complaints. It is very important to be able to contact the complainant as needed during the investigation process to either confirm or refute information submitted in the doctor’s response. The Board will investigate anonymous complaint but may be extremely hindered in substantiating the allegations which may result in dismissal of the complaint. In some rare cases, the Board may be able to keep a complainant’s identity confidential. Questions regarding this issue should be directed to Board staff.

Investigating the Complaint
Once the complaint is received, an investigation file is opened and a case number is assigned. Board staff will contact the complainant to verify the details of their complaint. Then a written notification is sent to the doctor advising them of the complaint and investigation. In most cases, the doctor is provided a copy of the complaint. The doctor is asked to provide a written response to the allegations made in the complaint, and to provide copies of the complainant or patient’s medical records if necessary. Doctors and complainants may, but are not required to, be represented by an attorney during this process.

Board staff will determine if any additional information is needed, such as medical records from other physicians, and will obtain that information. Then the case is assigned to one investigator who will complete the investigation. The doctor, complainant and other witnesses may be contacted during this time to provide additional information or clarification. Once complete, a written investigation report is generated and the case is placed on a meeting agenda for review by the Board members. Both the complainant and the doctor will be notified in writing of the date, time and location of the Board meeting when the case will be reviewed. Neither the complainant nor the doctor are required to attend this Board meeting, but are strongly encouraged to do so. Board meetings are open to the public, subject to the applicable Open Meeting Laws and the applicable laws regarding Executive Session.

The Board Meeting
At the Board meeting, the Board members will review the complete investigation file and determine what action to take. This may include: dismiss the complaint, table the matter for further investigation, offer the doctor a voluntary disciplinary agreement, issue a non-disciplinary order for continuing medical education, request an Informal Interview with the doctor, or refer the matter to a formal hearing.

After the Board Meeting
Both the doctor and the complainant will receive a written notification of the Board’s decision regardless of whether or not they attend the Board meeting. The next step will vary depending on what action the Board members decided to take. Please contact the Board’s office for specific questions in this regard.

How Long Does the Investigation Process Take?
Depending on the nature of the complaint, the investigation may be completed in several days, or it may take several months. The Board’s goal is to complete investigations in 180 days or less whenever possible. However, that time frame can be influenced by many factors such as vague complaint information, delays in obtaining records or documents, or the complexity of the investigation. Persons who file a complaint will receive periodic written updates regarding the status of the investigation and may contact the Board’s office at any time if they have questions.