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The North Carolina Medical Board was established April 15, 1859, by the General Assembly “in order to properly regulate the practice of medicine and surgery for the benefit and protection of the people of North Carolina.” The practice of medicine is a privilege granted by the state. The North Carolina Medical Board, through efficient and dedicated organization, will license, monitor, discipline, educate, and when appropriate, rehabilitate physicians and mid-level practitioners to assure their fitness and competence in the service of the people of North Carolina. In fulfilling its mission, the Board will play a leading role in the ever-changing health care environment through dialogue with the public, the legislature, academia and the medical community.
Board composition and appointment process
The Board consists of 12 members appointed by the Governor. Eight of the 12 are licensed physicians, one is a licensed physician assistant (PA) or approved nurse practitioner (NP), and three are members of the public with no financial or professional interest in a health service or profession.
Seven of the licensed physicians and the PA/NP member are nominated to the Governor by an independent Review Panel, which offers the Governor a choice of at least two candidates for each open seat on the Board. The Review Panel includes members representing the NC Medical Society, the NC Osteopathic Medical Association, the Old North State Medical Society, the NC Academy of Physician Assistants, and the NC Nurses Association Council of Nurse Practitioners. It also includes a sitting public member of the Board.
The four remaining members of the Board are named at the discretion of the Governor. These positions include the three public members and one position that, under North Carolina law, must go to a licensed physician who is an osteopathic physician, a member of the Old North State Medical Society or a full-time faculty member of an NC medical school who uses integrative medicine in practice.
All Board members serve three-year terms. State law limits members to serving two full, consecutive terms on the Board.
The Board meets or holds disciplinary hearings monthly. Meetings or hearings typically last two to three days and include committee meetings, interviews, as well as disciplinary and licensing activities. Though some Board business, such as meetings to discuss investigative or complaint information, is confidential under law, Board meetings are otherwise open to the public and media. Meeting schedules, agendas and minutes are available from the Board’s office or web site.
The Board is supported by a full-time professional staff based in Raleigh. The staff is administered by an executive director and is divided into nine departments: Complaints, Human Resources, Information Technology, Investigative, Legal, Licensing, Operations, Public Affairs, and the Office of the Medical Director (which includes two physicians). The Board is a public organization that regulates medical professionals on behalf of the state. It receives no tax dollars. The Board’s activities are supported in full by fees paid by its licensees.