Screening Committee – The Screening Committee meets on a weekly basis. It consists of at least one Board member, the Medical Director, the Director of Case Development, the Executive Director of the Board and, at least one deputy attorney general. The Committee reviews all new complaints which come in from members of the public, institutions such as hospitals, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies or other agencies of government. The Screening Committee can close low-level matters, forward matters on for further investigation or recommend that the Attorney General take immediate action where the public is in danger. At least once per month, the Committee meets in Newark and prioritizes ongoing investigations and disciplinary matters, allowing prosecuting deputy attorneys general to receive guidance regarding expert witnesses, directions of prosecutions, and settlement discussions.
Preliminary Evaluation Committees – Preliminary Evaluation Committees (PECs) are investigative committees that meet at least four times per month. The Committees meet in various locations, including Newark, Trenton and Vineland. The Committees consist of several board members (usually three to five) who question physicians under investigation during a confidential session. Testimony is given under oath and physicians may be accompanied by counsel. The Preliminary Evaluation Committees are assisted by deputy attorneys general assigned to counsel the Committees. The PECs then make recommendations to the full State Board of Medical Examiners which reviews the recommendations at its monthly meeting. These recommendations could include closure of a case, settlement of a case, or the movement of a case by means of the filing of a disciplinary complaint.
Executive Committee – The Executive Committee of the Board meets on a monthly basis. It is composed of the officers of the Board, plus rotating selected members of the Board. The Executive Committee reviews policy concerns of the Board, proposed regulations and legislation that may affect medical practices in the State.
Credentials Committee – The Credentials Committee of the Board meets at least once per month to review the credentials and qualifications of applicants for licensure. When questions arise regarding the qualifications of the applicants for licensure, such applicants sometimes appear before the Credentials Committee and give testimony under oath. The Credentials Committee makes recommendations to the full State Board of Medical Examiners regarding the appropriateness of licensure for various candidates.
Impairment Review Committee – The Impairment Review Committee was established by Board regulation to address issues of impairment (including drug or alcohol dependency and psychiatric or physically disabling disorders) of New Jersey physicians. The Impairment Review Committee consists of five members including two Medical Board members, two individuals representing approved professional assistant programs and one individual designated by The Commissioner of Health. The Executive Director of the Board and the Medical Director of the Board serve as staff to the Impairment Review Committee. The Impairment Review Committee meets on a regular basis and makes recommendations to the Board concerning the eligibility of impaired physicians for the Alternative Resolution Program of the Board, which permits such impaired physicians to receive assistance without a public disciplinary order.
Impairment Review Committee/Alternative Resolution Program
“Alternative Resolution Program” refers to the program established pursuant to the regulation which can be found at N.J.A.C. 13:35–11. This regulation authorized the program by which licensees who are suffering from medical conditions or chemical dependency may confidentially enter into a rehabilitation and monitoring program which is managed under the sponsorship of an approved professional assistance program and which is subject to the periodic submission of coded status reports and continuing confidential review by the Board’s Impairment Review Committee. The program is handled through the Medical Society of New Jersey and it is an approved professional assistance program. For a licensee to become a participant in the Alternative Resolution Program, the licensee must be accepted by the Impairment Review Committee, which includes members of the Board, and be assigned a code number, which allows continued confidentiality as long as the monitoring requirements and rehabilitation program are followed.