CHAPTER 323

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 17, TITLE 24, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO MEDICINE, SURGERY AND OSTEOPATHY.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Subsection (a), § 1732, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

(a) Any person not authorized to practice medicine and surgery in this State, and desiring to enter upon such practice, shall deliver to the Secretary of the Medical Council the payment of a fee of $50, a written application for examination, together with satisfactory proof that the applicant--

(1) Is more than 21 years of age, and a citizen of the United States;

(2) Is of good moral character;

(3) Has completed a standard four-year high school course;

(4) Has completed two years of acceptable college work, including 1 college year of physics, 1 college year of English, 2 college years of chemistry, 1 college year of biology and a foreign language;

(5) Has received a diploma conferring the degree of Doctor of Medicine from some legally incorporated medical college which in the opinion of the Medical Council was in good standing at the time of the issuing of the diploma; and

(6) Shall have served as an interne for one year in a hospital approved by the Medical Council.

Section 2. § 1733, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding the following subsections thereto:

(c) Taken and successfully passed the examination for Foreign Medical Graduates given by the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates. (ECFMG screening exam.)

(d) Citizens of the Dominion of Canada who are graduates of American or Canadian Medical Schools may be considered for license to practice medicine in the State of Delaware, by written examination or by endorsement of a license to practice medicine from any one of the United States, or by endorsement of a license to practice medicine in the Dominion of Canada, the same as any citizen of the United States of America, following the filing of his first papers with a proper Federal Tribunal, to become a citizen of the United States of America.

Section 3. § 1738, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by changing the period at the end thereof to a comma and adding the following:

excepting that the Secretary of the Medical Council shall certify to the Executive Secretary of the State Board of Health, only such internes and residents in hospitals or institutions who are graduates of foreign Colleges of Medicine, not including Canada, and who have taken and successfully passed the examination for foreign medical graduates as given by the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates as required under Section 1733 of this chapter.

Section 4. § 1739, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the figure "$10" and by substituting in lieu thereof the figure "$25".

Section 5. § 1741, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:

§ 1741. Refusal to issue license or revocation or suspension of same; causes; hearing; probation, or otherwise censor, cause investigation hearings; appeal

(a) The Medical Council may refuse to issue a license or may revoke or suspend a license to practice medicine or surgery or to practice osteopathy or may place the offending person on probation for such period as the Medical Council deems proper, or may censor the person for any of the causes stated below:

(1) The use of any false, fraudulent or forged statement or document, or the use of any fraudulent, deceitful, dishonest or immoral practice in connection with any of the licensing requirements.

(2) Conviction of a felony, including the performance of any unlawful abortion.

(3) Drug addiction or chronic and persistent addiction to intoxicants to such a degree as to render the licensee unsafe or unfit to practice medicine or surgery or osteopathy.

(4) Any dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.

(5) Violation directly or indirectly of any provision or terms of the medical practices act.

(6) The practice of medicine or osteopathy under a false or assumed name.

(7) Any physical or mental disability which renders the further practice of medicine by the licensee dangerous.

(8) Mental incompetence or mental illness, when determined by any final order or adjudication of any court of competent jurisdiction. In such case the license shall be automatically suspended by the Council, and (anything in the act to the contrary notwithstanding) such suspension shall continue until the licensee shall be found or adjudged by such court to be restored to reason or until he shall be duly discharged from a hospital or otherwise as restored to reason.

(0) The advertising of the practice of medicine or osteopathy in any unethical or unprofessional manner.

(2) The obtaining of a fee as personal compensation or gain from a patient or from anyone by fraudulently representing that a manifestly incurable condition can be permanently cured.

(3) Knowingly performing any act which in any way assists an unlicensed or unregistered person to practice medicine.

(4) The willful violation of any privileged communication.

(b) Creation of Medical Censor Committees and Osteopathy Censor Committee; term of office; enforcement of:

(1) There is hereby created in each County of this State a County Medical Censor Committee and there is also hereby created a State Osteopathic Censor Committee. Each of the four Committees shall consist of three members. The term of office of each member of the respective Committees shall be for three years beginning on July 1, 1960. Upon the expiration of the terms of the members future appointments shall be made for the period of three years.

The Medical Council of Delaware shall appoint the members of the respective Censor Committees from a list of seven resident members in good standing submitted by the respective County Medical Societies and the Delaware State Osteopathic Society, which lists shall be transmitted to the Medical Council of Delaware by July 1st of each year; under the seal and signed by the secretary of the respective Medical and Osteopathic Societies, aforesaid. In case of failure on the part of any Society aforesaid to submit the list as aforesaid, the Medical Council of Delaware shall appoint to any of said Committees a person or persons who are members in good standing in said Societies. The Medical Council shall designate one member of each Committee as Chairman.

Each member of the County Medical Censor Committees shall be a registered and licensed physician and/or surgeon. Each member of the State Osteopathic Censor Committee shall be a registered and licensed osteopathic physician and/or surgeon.

The Medical Council of Delaware shall fill vacancies occurring by reason of death, resignation, or otherwise, for the unexpired term of any member from the lists submitted aforesaid, and may remove any member from any of the Committees for the neglect of his or her duties or for unprofessional conduct.

(2) Powers and duties: (a) It shall be the duty of the respective Committees to investigate either upon complaint or, whenever any of the said Committees shall think proper, upon its own motion, cases concerning the violations of any of the provisions of this section by any person who is a registered, licensed physician and/or surgeon, or osteopathic physician and/or surgeon, to formulate charges against any such person if the circumstances warrant, to proceed, upon due notice to said person of such charges and of the time and place of hearing, to hear such charges upon sworn testimony and other evidence, to determine whether or not any disciplinary action is warranted, to make findings of fact and state conclusions in a draft report. A copy of such report upon its completion shall be served upon said person, either personally or by registered mail. During a period of ten days thereafter the person may file with the Committee any statement or objections that he may desire to make. After consideration thereof, or, if none such shall have been filed, upon the expiration of the ten-day period, the Committee shall file its final report with the Medical Council of Delaware, together with proof of service of the draft report. If any change shall have been made in the draft report, a copy of the final report shall be served upon respondent and proof of service filed with the Medical Council of Delaware. Upon the filing of the final report the Secretary of the Medical Council of Delaware shall forthwith by registered mail notify the person of the date of such filing. At all hearings before the Committee upon charges, the person shall have the right to be present, to be represented by counsel, to cross-examine any witnesses, and to the exercise for his benefit the power of subpoena in the same manner as is provided by subsection (c) hereof for the use of the Committee.

(b) The Committee shall, with the approval of the Medical Council of Delaware, have power to adopt rules for the conduct of hearings and of its other business. The Committee shall appoint a secretary, who shall keep minutes of all its proceedings, including a record of the receipt and disposition of all complaints.

(c) Each Committee shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents by the filing of a praecipe by the Chairman thereof for a subpoena with the Prothonotary of the County--said subpoena to be effective throughout the entire State--service of such subpoena to be made by any Sheriff in this State. In case it is desired to take the deposition of a witness residing out of the State, the Committee may apply to any Judge of the Superior Court for an appropriate order therefor.

Failure of any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon him may be deemed a contempt and punished in the discretion of a Superior Court Judge, by fine or imprisonment or both.

(3) Every member of the Committee shall have the power to administer oaths or affirmations as provided for by the statutes of this State, or any other statute provision that may hereinafter be enacted.

The Committee, with the approval of the Medical Council of Delaware may employ such stenographic or other assistance as may from time to time be necessary or proper.

If no action is taken upon a complaint filed by an individual, the individual may petition the Medical Council to order the record as taken by the County Committee to be sent to Council for Council's action in the light of the provisions of this section.

Proceedings upon Report: Upon the filing of the Committee's report in any proceeding, it shall have the force and effect of a master's report in Chancery. The respondent may, within fifteen days from the date of the filing thereof, file exceptions thereto or to any part thereof, or to any finding, conclusion, or recommendation therein. Any exceptions so filed shall stand for hearing and argument at such time as the Medical Council of Delaware by special order may determine. The Medical Council of Delaware shall designate the Attorney General of this State to conduct the hearing. Briefs may, if desired, be filed. If no exceptions are filed to the Committee's report, it shall stand confirmed; subject, however, to the right of the Medical Council of Delaware, upon its own motion, to review any finding, conclusion or recommendation therein.

The Medical Council of Delaware shall upon an affirmed report or upon its findings on review of the Committee's report enter an order as to the accused person revoking or suspending his or her license to practice medicine or osteopathy in this State, or to place said person on probation or otherwise censor such person or acquit said person of any violation whatsoever.

Finality of judgment of Medical Council--appeal--limitation period: The judgment of the Medical Council of Delaware in any case shall be final unless within 10 days after a copy thereof has been sent to the person against whom the judgment is rendered appeals to the Superior Court of the County wherein the alleged offense occurred.

The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all appeals taken pursuant to this chapter. The Court may, by proper rules prescribe the procedure to be followed in the case of such appeals. The Court shall fix a time for such hearings at the pending or next term of the Court, after the filing of such appeal, and may extend the time for adequate cause shown.

In case of every appeal to the Superior Court, the cause shall be determined by the Court from the record, which shall include a typewritten copy of the evidence and the finding and award of the Medical Council of Delaware, without the aid of a jury, and the Court may reverse, affirm, or modify the award of the Medical Council of Delaware, or remand the cause to the Medical Council of Delaware for a rehearing. In case any cause shall be remanded to the Medical Council of Delaware for a rehearing, the procedure and the rights of all parties to such cause shall be the same as in the case of the original hearing before the Medical Council of Delaware.

The decision of the Court shall be in writing and shall show conformity to the provisions of this chapter. It shall be filed with the Prothonotary of the Court, and such Prothonotary shall file a certified copy thereof with the Medical Council of Delaware.

Section 6. Subsection (b), § 1742, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:

(b) Residents or internes upon whom the degree M. D. or D. O. has been conferred by a legally recognized medical or osteopathic college, or those residents or internes who have been graduated by a foreign college of medicine, (not including Canadian colleges of medicine) and have taken and successfully completed the examination for foreign medical graduates as given by the Educational Council for Foreign Medical graduates, may legally engage in the practice of medicine and surgery or osteopathy in institutions and hospitals in the State of Delaware at the direction of a responsible attending staff physician of the aforementioned institutions or hospitals.

Section 7. Subsection (c), § 1742, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding the following thereto:

Hospital internes and residents subject to section 1733, who have not taken and successfully passed the Examination for Foreign Medical Graduates given by the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates, shall not be certified to the Executive Secretary of the State Board of Health for the legal practice of medicine and surgery or osteopathy in hospitals or institutions of the State of Delaware as indicated in section 1738.

Section 8. § 1742, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d) The Secretary of the Medical Council shall also notify the respective hospitals and institutions that registration has been granted to those hospital and institution residents and internes whose credentials have been approved by the Medical Council.

Section 9. § 1744, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding the following thereto:

In the event that an emergency shortage of physicians should occur in any of the counties of the State of Delaware, a committee of more than one physician of said county shall be appointed by the Medical Society of that county; this committee shall investigate thoroughly and certify to the state of emergency shortage of physicians, through the appointing County Medical Society at a regularly stated meeting to the Secretary of the Medical Council of the State of Delaware.

Section 10. Subsection (b), § 1751, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:

(b) All persons proposing to practice osteopathy in the State of Delaware after March 3, 1939, shall be examined by the Medical Council and an osteopathic physician, who shall be designated by the Delaware State Osteopathic Society, and shall satisfy the Medical Council and associated osteopathic examiner that he--

(1) Is more than 21 years of age and a citizen of the United States;

(2) Is of good moral character;

(3) Has completed a standard four year high school course; and

(4) The pre-professional requirements shall be the same as section 1732 (a) (4).

Section 11. § 1761, Title 24, Delaware Code, is amended by adding the following thereto:

Any license to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathy which has been granted upon the basis of written examination or upon the basis of reciprocity or endorsement of another state or Canadian license, shall be withdrawn if the said license has not been registered, by the holder, with an appropriate Tax Bureau of the State of Delaware within a period of 12 months after it has been granted. This provision for withdrawal of license may be waived by the Medical Council of the State of Delaware upon application by the licensee.

Section 12. § 1761 is amended by striking the figures "$100" in line six thereof and by substituting in lieu thereof the figures 1150".

Approved June 22, 1960.