How Should State Licensing and Credentialing Boards Respond When Government Clinicians Spread False or Misleading Health Information?

AMA J Ethics. 2023 Mar 1;25(3):E210-218. doi: 10.1001/amajethics.2023.210.


The spread of health misinformation by health care professionals who also hold government positions represents a long-standing problem that intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article describes this problem and considers legal and other response strategies. State licensing and credentialing boards must use their authorities to discipline clinicians who spread misinformation and to reinforce the nature and scope of professional and ethical obligations of government and nongovernment clinicians. Individual clinicians must also play an important role by actively and vigorously correcting misinformation disseminated by other clinicians.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Credentialing
  • Government
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*