The Medical Board is responsible for investigating complaints and disciplining physicians and other allied health professionals who violate the law. If a doctor or other Board licensee appears to have violated the laws that apply to the practice of medicine, Board staff will investigate and charges may be filed.
Central Complaint Unit
California toll-free line: 1-800-633-2322
- How Complaints are Handled
- Questions and Answers About Investigations
- Most Asked Questions About Medical Consultants
- Frequently Asked Questions
Consumers can contact the Board's Central Complaint Unit for assistance. Staff will assist by providing information about the issues within the Board's authority. Staff will also provide information about how to file a complaint with the Board, and the types of documents that may be needed. Some consumers do not wish to disclose their identity. If that is the case, the Board may be unable to pursue the complaint unless staff can document evidence of the allegations made.
Except for special circumstances, complaints must be in writing. Complaint forms can be obtained by calling the Central Complaint Unit at either of the numbers above or by filling out the following form:
Note: Fill-in forms provide the ability to type in the fields; however, all forms must be printed, signed, and mailed.
A complainant may be asked to sign a medical records release form if the Board needs to obtain medical records from a doctor, hospital or other sources to investigate a complaint. If the complaint is NOT within the Board's jurisdiction, staff will provide a referral to the appropriate agency or organization.
Complaints should be mailed to:
Medical Board of California
Central Complaint Unit
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
The Board's staff will review the following types of complaints:
- the quality of care and treatment provided by a physician (e.g., negligence)
- violation of drug laws, misprescribing, or over prescribing
- substance abuse by a physician
- sexual misconduct by a physician
- dishonesty (including filing fraudulent insurance claims)
- practice of medicine by an unlicensed person or persons under the supervision of a physician
In addition to physicians, the staff reviews complaints about:
- registered dispensing opticians (business registration)
- contact lens and/or spectacle lens dispensers
- research psychoanalysts
- licensed midwives
Further, the Board's staff also reviews complaints about licensees in the following professions:
- doctors of podiatric medicine
- physician assistants
However, any disciplinary action taken against one of these licensees is decided by the licensing entity for that profession.
The Board does not regulate health plans or insurance companies. If you need information or have a problem with a health plan, contact the Department of Managed Health Care at 888-HMO-2219.
For information about or problems with an insurance company, contact the Department of Insurance at (213) 897-8921.