This is one of those somewhat embarrassing moments for the hospital as the Chief Medical Officer is usually in charge of physician credentialsimage, and maybe he somehow forgot his own in the process?  His license expired in 1999 but the state of Illinois does not have licensing rules for CMOs, also a bit strange.  One doctor commented that they knew he was not licensed when he was hired eight years ago but money wise was not doing bad making a quarter of a million a year.  BD 

The top doctor at Northwest Community Hospital wasn't licensed to practice medicine, an embarrassing setback for a medical center that has struggled after missing out on the health care merger boom.

Dr. Leighton Smith left his position this month as chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at the 496-bed hospital, where his duties included setting policy and managing relationships with Northwest's physicians. He had held the post for nearly eight years, even though state records show his license expired in 1999.

Dr. Smith denies that his employment ended because he is not licensed but declines to comment further, citing a confidentiality agreement. He was paid $785,000 in 2010, according to a hospital tax filing.

Having an unlicensed chief medical officer could complicate the hospital's defense against some lawsuits, particularly if a hospital policy is alleged to have resulted in negligent care, says malpractice attorney Keith Hebeisen,


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