The Board was created by the Legislature in 1897 to ensure that all physicians had the training and skills necessary to practice safe and effective medicine for the people of New Hampshire. Originally, the Board was comprised of 5 physicians. Later, a paramedical representative was added to the membership along with 2 members of the public who have no relationship to the medical profession. Today, the Board consists of 11 members; including 5 members selected from among physicians and surgeons, one member selected to represent osteopathic physicians and surgeons, one member selected to represent physician assistants regulated by the Board, the commissioner or the medical director of the Department of Health & Human Services, or in the case of a vacancy in the office of medical director, the commissioner shall appoint a designee, and 3 public members. All members, with the exception of the commissioner or the medical director, are appointed by the Governor and serve 5 year terms.
The Board is an independent decision making entity. It employs a full time administrative staff and contracts with other state agencies to provide investigation and legal support. The Board is served by a disciplinary review committee. All expenses are paid for by license fees.
The Board grants licenses to qualified applicants. It is responsible for monitoring its licensees to ensure that they maintain a level of current medical knowledge and skill and that they practice safely and ethically. If a licensee or applicant fails to meet these requirements, the Board is authorized to deny the application or to impose disciplinary sanctions against that licensee. Disciplinary sanctions may range in severity from a reprimand to the revocation of all rights to practice in the state.
The Board licenses and regulates Physicians, both Allopathic and Osteopathic, and Physician Assistants. Podiatrists, chiropractors, optometrists and naturopaths are not physicians and are regulated by their own licensing boards.