Appeal from the Order of the State Board of Medical Education and Licensure in case of James C. Johnston, Jr., M.D., dated November 8, 1978.
Jane Dale Ressler, with her, J. Jerome Mansmann, Gondelman, Baxter, Mansmann & McVerry, for petitioner.
Pamela J. Arnold, with her, William C. Kennedy, Assistant Attorney General and Edward Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr. Judge DiSalle did not participate in the decision in this case.
Petitioner has filed this petition for review challenging an order of the State Board of Medical Education and Licensure (Pennsylvania Board) revoking his license to practice medicine in Pennsylvania pursuant to terms of the Medical Practice Act of 1974
(Act), Act of July 20, 1974, P.L. 551, as amended, 63 P.S. § 421.1 et seq. following the revocation of his license to practice medicine in the State of Washington by that state's medical licensing authority (Washington Board). We affirm.
Licensed to practice medicine in Pennsylvania in 1972 following completion of his medical education, petitioner soon after set up practice in the State of Washington where he was a duly licensed physician. On December 6, 1976, charges were brought against petitioner alleging gross incompetence in the practice of medicine resulting in the deaths of two of his patients. Petitioner's Washington license was summarily suspended the following day. An additional charge, that petitioner aided and abetted an unlicensed person to practice medicine, was brought on February 1, 1977. Following hearings on all charges the Washington Board on July 6, 1977, revoked petitioner's license to practice medicine in that state. An appeal was promptly filed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington.*fn1
By Citation and Notice of Hearing forwarded to petitioner by the Pennsylvania Board, petitioner was charged with having had his license to practice medicine in the State of Washington revoked and ordered to show cause why his license to practice medicine in Pennsylvania should not be suspended or revoked pursuant to subdivision (a)(4) of Section 15 of the Act, 63 P.S. § 421.15(a)(4).
Petitioner challenges on constitutional grounds the validity of Section 15(a)(4) of the Act. Since the question would appear to be one of first impression in this Commonwealth,*fn2 it would seem that making some preliminary observations concerning the power of the state to regulate the practice of medicine and related health professions through licensing might be helpful.
The potential clash between the interests of persons engaged in a profession like medicine and those of members of the public who rely on the expertise of such professionals as embodied in the state-issued license was recognized nearly a ...