State report card

The report card for each state contains the scores it received when we evaluated it for how well it protects patients against sexually abusive doctors. The overall rating is the average of the score the state received in each category. In states with two medical boards, one for osteopathic physicians and the other for medical doctors, the overall rating is based on an average of each board’s scores.

Click on the boxes below to read how Alabama did on each category — and how we calculated the score for the categories.


State rating (out of 100)

  • Board composition: 55
    Are consumer members included to balance physicians’ tendency to identify with their colleagues? More...
    A blueprint developed by The Federation of State Medical Boards recognized the importance of having independent public members on physician-dominated medical regulatory agencies. To assess the composition of disciplinary agencies, the AJC used three measures, with the most weight given to consumer representation. Top grades went to states where public members make up at least 40 percent of the board; where those members represent consumers and where neither they nor their family members have professional or financial ties to health care; and where women hold at least 40 percent of the board seats.

More from Alabama

Highlighted case

Dr. Gregory Alan Johns

The emergency room doctor was accused of molesting female patients when he thought they were unconscious.

One patient claimed in a lawsuit that she immediately told her parents about an incident in November 2006. The parents notified Southeast Alabama Medical Center Foundation, but five months later, after no action had been taken, they again notified the hospital as well as the state medical board.

In September 2007, the board alleged, Johns molested a second emergency room patient in the mistaken belief that she was incapacitated due to the effects of medicine.

The board suspended Johns' license in May 2008 and revoked it in September 2008. He was criminally convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Researching a doctor

  • Accurate records of sexual abuse accusations against doctors are not always easily accessible. In Alabama, the best chance of finding problems is to search the records offered by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners. You can search for any board orders against Alabama doctors here. Please note that license search results typically include all public disciplinary actions, not just those involving sexual misconduct, and can sometimes include vague language. Also, some states deal with some disciplinary issues privately; private board orders are not included.

Complaint process

Anonymous complaints are not accepted from individuals. However, the board said it will investigate anonymous complaints from pharmacies and from others where there is someone it can interview. Also of note: State law says the complaint form must be provided to the physician for response.

Where to file a complaint


“People get revoked and rehabilitate themselves and get back into the practice of medicine. It costs a fortune to train a physician and you can’t just throw it away."

— Larry Dixon, executive director, Board of Medical Examiners

Key fact

The Medical Licensure Commission makes disciplinary decisions. Also, medical authorities halt investigations, and no findings are entered, when a doctor voluntarily surrenders his license.

  1. Click here to find your state!