Section 5H. Whenever it appears that any physician licensed in the commonwealth may be incompetent or unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety because such physician’s ability to practice is impaired due to mental illness or physical illness, the board may order such physician to be examined by one or more physicians and surgeons designated by the board and at the board’s expense.
If said physician fails or refuses to comply with an order by the board for such examination, and upon reasonable notice to said physician, the board may apply to the superior court for an order compelling said physician to submit to such examination. If the board’s application is granted, the court may, after opportunity for hearing, require such physician to pay to the board its reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including attorney’s fees, unless the court finds an award of expenses unjust. The physician’s failure to comply with a court order issued under this section shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action under section five.
The report of the examiners shall be made available to such physician and may be received as direct evidence in proceedings conducted pursuant to section five. Said report shall remain confidential except to the extent it is disclosed in such proceedings.