The Texas Medical Board plays the primary role in regulating and monitoring medical licensure. The TMB has 12 physician board members and seven public board members, all appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Once a patient files a complaint, these 19 volunteer board members determine if a medical professional violated the Medical Practice Act.
In addition to granting medical licenses, the TMB can also suspend or revoke them.
According to the Texas Occupations Code § 164.051, the board can revoke a license if it determines that the medical professional:
- Received a felony or misdemeanor conviction
- Is unable to practice medicine safely due to drugs or drunkenness
- Fails to practice medicine in a professional manner
- Demonstrates professional incompetence likely to harm patients
After the TMB revokes a license, the medical professional does receive a chance to have it reinstated. After a year of suspension, the physician has the opportunity to appear in front of the TMB to petition their decision. Medical professionals with revoked licenses can only appeal once a year, so a strong argument for a reinstated license becomes imperative.
Appearing in front of a medical board is quite different from appearing in court. Presenting a case to the TMB allows the medical professional to converse with practitioner colleagues who are experts in the field instead of presenting to an anonymous jury and judge with knowledge of the law but not of medicine. Since medical boards are self-regulating, their hearings provide a space for healthy debates between physicians on both sides.