(a) The board is autonomous and, in accordance with this article, shall determine qualifications of applicants for licenses to practice medicine and surgery, to practice podiatry, and to practice as a physician assistant for a physician licensed under this article, and shall issue licenses to qualified applicants and shall regulate the professional conduct and discipline of such individuals. In carrying out its functions, the board may:
(1) Adopt such rules as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this article;
(2) Hold hearings and conduct investigations, subpoena witnesses and documents and administer oaths;
(3) Institute proceedings in the courts of this state to enforce its subpoenas for the production of witnesses and documents and its orders and to restrain and enjoin violations of this article and of any rules promulgated under it;
(4) Employ investigators, attorneys, hearing examiners, consultants and such other employees as may be necessary, who shall be exempt from the classified service of the Division of Personnel and who shall serve at the will and pleasure of the board. In addition, all personnel employed through the Department of Health and Human Resources on June 30, 2009, to provide services for the board are hereby transferred to the board effective July 1, 2009. However, the employment, salary, benefits or position classification of any person transferred under this section may not be reduced or diminished by reason of this section. All persons transferred shall retain their coverage under the classified service of the Division of Personnel and all matters relating to job classification, job tenure and conditions of employment shall remain in force and effect from and after the date of this section, to the same extent as if this section had not been reenacted. Also, nothing herein shall prohibit the disciplining or dismissal of any employee for cause.
(5) Enter into contracts and receive and disburse funds according to law;
(6) Establish and certify standards for the supervision and certification of physician assistants;
(7) Authorize medical and podiatry corporations in accordance with the limitations of section fifteen of this article to practice medicine and surgery or podiatry through duly licensed physicians or podiatrists; and
(8) Perform such other duties as are set forth in this article or otherwise provided for in this code.
(b) The board shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Legislature. The report shall include a statistical analysis of complaints received, charges investigated, charges dismissed after investigation, the grounds for each such dismissal and disciplinary proceedings and disposition.