Physicians in Wisconsin need to take care to note the full name of the board that certified them (such as the American Board of Plastic Surgeons) if they claim to be “board certified” in their medical marketing. Also, like most other states, Wisconsin physicians’ medical websites must not contain false, misleading, or deceptive advertising. For a full assessment of the marketing laws relevant to your practice, be sure to consult with your legal counsel.
Wisconsin Medical Examining Board
Wis. Admin. Code MED § 10.02(2)
(2) The term “unprofessional conduct” is defined to mean and include but not be limited to the following, or aiding or abetting the same: (…)
- (o) Engaging in uninvited, in-person solicitation of actual or potential patients who, because of their particular circumstances, are vulnerable to undue influence; or engaging in false, misleading or deceptive advertising. (…)
- (w) Use in advertising of the term “board certified” or a similar phrase of like meaning unless in fact so certified and unless disclosure is made of the complete name of the specialty board which conferred the certification.
Sample Best Practices
We’ve developed some sample best practices to help you get started discussing your medical marketing with your legal counsel in more detail. Find out if you need to take steps to avoid the following:
- Engaging in false, misleading, or deceptive advertising.
- Soliciting in person patients who are vulnerable to undue influence.
- Using the term “board certified” or a similar phrase of like meaning unless you are so certified and unless disclosure is made of the complete name of the specialty board which conferred the certification.
- Making scientific claims that cannot be substantiated.
- Assuring a permanent cure for an incurable disease.
- Claiming professional superiority without supporting the claim with objective evidence, or using hyperbole when describing your techniques or results.
- Showing patient before and after photos without indicating that results vary and the results shown are not a guarantee.
- Showing models without clearly indicating that the photos are not of actual patients.
Please help us keep these pages up to date. If you or your legal counsel notice an oversight in our comments or a problem with this page, please alert us by email. Also, be sure to read our legal disclaimer.