Get to Know SMBO Complaint, Investigation, Enforcement processes

HomeFiling a complaint

Complaints inform the board of potential problems with a licensee’s practice. Complaints come from a variety of sources including the public, agency staff, state and national regulatory agencies, physicians, self-reports from licensees, hospitals, and others such as law enforcement and the media. Under Ohio law, complaints are confidential.

There is no statute of limitations on filing a complaint.

Should you choose to file a complaint, know that the Medical Board is required by State law to maintain the confidentiality of all information related to board investigations. In addition, the board will not identify you as the complainant without first obtaining your permission to release your name. Investigations can take as little as a few days up to a year or more with most lasting several months. It depends on the complexity of your complaint and the current caseload. There is no statute of limitations on filing a complaint.

You should file a complaint with the Medical Board since SMBO regulates the provider's license. Do not just file with the health care system and law enforcement.

If the board finds that there has been a violation of the Medical Practices Act, it may choose one of the following disciplinary actions:

  • Reprimand the licensee

  • put the licensee on probation

  • limit/restrict the practitioner’s license

  • suspend the license

  • permanently revoke the license

​​If a complaint is closed, the board retains the complaint for future use, if needed. In some cases, a single reported complaint may not warrant action, but if additional similar complaints are received, the board may take steps to correct the licensee’s behavior. It may use education, training or other non-disciplinary means as an opportunity for the licensee to improve his/her practice.

There are two ways to file a complaint with the Medical Board. ​

​Here are instructions for filing a complaint: ​complaint instructions and Presentar una Queja.

Look up a provider’s disciplinary record

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Upon receipt of a complaint, an investigator may decide to gather preliminary information before contacting the licensee under investigation. Such activities may include interviewing the complainant, reviewing a controlled substance prescribing report or the subpoena of medical records. If allegations pose a serious risk to the public, the complaint may be sent directly to the Enforcement section attorneys for review. When the investigator has gathered necessary information for the case, they will prepare a Report of Investigation (ROI). The ROI is reviewed and approved by the board’s Investigator Supervisor. The report is then routed to the Board’s Secretary and Supervising Member for review. Investigations and investigative materials are confidential. The Medical Board continues to routinely work with a variety of local, state, and federal agencies including the hundreds of hospitals throughout Ohio. The board has field investigators across Ohio divided by east, west and central regions, with three supervisors.



Enforcement staff review the complaints referred to the section by the board’s Secretary and Supervising Member. Enforcement attorneys evaluate the case to determine if there has been a violation of the board’s rules or statutes. If so, the case is then prepared for possible disciplinary action. Enforcement attorneys work closely with Ohio’s assistant attorneys general to ensure cases have sufficient proof to prevail at hearing. Enforcement attorneys prepare Summary Suspensions, Immediate Suspensions and Automatic Suspensions. They negotiate Consent Agreements and Voluntary Surrenders and Retirements. Additionally, enforcement attorneys prepare citations for the board to issue. These citations are a formal notice to a licensee that the board believes they have violated rules or laws and informs them of their right to a hearing.


Board Actions

Any recommended disciplinary action must be approved by the board. Similarly, all settlement agreements must be ratified with no fewer than six affirmative votes. The Medical Board posts all formal board actions on the licensee’s record on to support transparency and ensure the public has access to the information.


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