Board issues censure in professional compliance case

At its March 3, 2008, meeting, the AAOS Board of Directors considered one grievance under the AAOS Professional Compliance Program. Based on the information presented and the recommendation of the Committee on Professionalism (COP), the Board censured Margaret M. Baker, MD, of Port Angeles, Wash., for violation of specified Mandatory Standards under the Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on Orthopaedic Expert Witness Testimony.

The grievance alleged that Dr. Baker violated six of the Mandatory Standards of the SOPs on Orthopaedic Expert Witness Testimony when she provided orthopaedic expert witness testimony on behalf of a plaintiff. In this case, Dr. Baker testified that the treating physician was careless and negligent during a surgical procedure to reconstruct a lateral ligamentous disruption about the knee that resulted in numbness and weakness in the area of the peroneal nerve. The jury found for the defendant-treating physician who filed the grievance against Dr. Baker.

The COP conducted a hearing of this grievance in October 2007. Dr. Baker and her counsel were present. The Grievant was also present. Following the hearing, the COP Grievance Hearing Panel found that Dr. Baker violated three Mandatory Standards and recommended that the Board of Directors censure Dr. Baker. Neither Dr. Baker nor the Grievant appealed the decision to the Judiciary Committee.

A censure is a written reprimand from the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons that becomes part of the Fellow’s permanent record. It is announced to the AAOS Fellowship, but it is not reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Censure does not involve any loss of Fellowship benefits, and information about censure is available to Fellows, members and lawyers.

A summary of this case and the decision of the AAOS Board of Directors can be found in the online version of today’s Daily Edition ( and will appear in the April issue of AAOS Now.

The Board also took action on several automatic professional compliance actions. These will be reported in the April issue of AAOS Now.