According to a recent survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), many doctors in the U.S. would not report other doctors who are incompetent. A third of doctors who said they had personal knowledge of an incompetent physician did not report the physician to authorities.
The survey results may indicate that many doctors don't trust the system. Some doctors may worry about what repercussions they may face if they report a colleague. And some may be concerned about what will happen to their colleagues after such a report is made about their competency.
Reporting problems with a colleague is necessary however for protection of patients, and may also be the agent of important change for the physician in question.
"The American Medical Association and other professional groups say doctors have an ethical obligation to make such reports. And many states require doctors to tell authorities about colleagues who endanger patients because of alcoholism, drug abuse or mental illness."