Facing criminal charges or any administrative accusation can damage the reputation and career of a physician or healthcare provider. The government’s investigation can result in stress and devastation to the accused. Therefore, it’s important to consult a medical license defense lawyer to help and manage the charges being pressed against.
With the immediate help of an effective defense counsel, the complaints and investigation can be closed before reaching the formal accusation. By then, the medical license will be protected and so will the career.
The goal of the medical license defense attorney is to protect the clients’ reputation, preserve the reputation in the medical community, and to ensure the medical licenses are active and intact.
Here are the top disciplinary actions that require a medical license defense lawyer:
1. Negligent Quality of Care
Complaints against the negligent quality of care fall under the classification of “substandard cure”. The charges may include misdiagnosis, negligent treatment, treatment delays, and prescription of unnecessary medication.
The three most common violations of negligent quality of care that can result in filing a disciplinary action against the accused are:
- Gross Negligence: It’s considered the extreme deviation from the accepted standards of medical practice. Here are the instances of an act of violation:
- Not performing basic diagnosis.
- Not recognizing the symptoms presented by the patient.
- Not using effective treatments.
- Not directing a patient to a specialist when needed.
- Repeated Negligent Acts: Simple negligence is negligent actions that aren’t an extreme deviation from the standard of practice. Yet, simple negligence isn’t qualified for filing charges against the physician. Rather, the repeated acts of simple negligence will qualify for formal accusations.
- Incompetence: An incompetent doctor lacks knowledge and performs procedures that are beyond the training or expertise. If the physician continues to use an obsolete procedure which isn’t acceptable by the standards, it can be evidence of incompetence. Furthermore, the violation is considered incompetence if the doctor doesn’t recognize and act appropriately on a patient’s symptoms of illness.
2. Prescription Issues
Medical malpractice happens when physicians or any healthcare provider fails to dispense the appropriate medical services and results in damage to a patient. With the problems that resulted from medication errors, here are the commonly seen instances:
- The patient is given the wrong medication.
- The patient is prescribed with an incorrect dosage of medication.
- The patient is given medication that can cause an allergic reaction.
- The patient is given a medication that causes an adverse reaction to the current medication taking.
- Medication is not properly labeled.
- A pharmaceutical company failed to reveal the known side effects of prescribed medication. For instance, the potential dangers of using protein and the amino acid supplement was not disclosed to the public.
3. Drug Diversion
The misappropriation of prescription medication is defined as drug diversion. It’s also referred to as prescription and opioid diversion. For instance, when a physician orders a prescription for narcotics without legitimate medical requirement or when a nurse redirects medication from a Pyxis machine. Allegations of drug diversion are serious and can lead to criminal charges.
4. Driving Under Influence (DUI)
Driving Under Influence (DUI) is a serious conviction that can have serious consequences if not timely and properly handled by a medical license defense lawyer. If not so, then it could lose the healthcare provider’s career and reputation.
The professional licensing boards of the Department of Health view physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers with DUI as a risk to the public. That’s the reason why fines and sanctions were given as control measures. Subsequently, healthcare professionals reach out to impairment programs believing that they can be protected from the revocation of the professional licenses. Though the programs can help yet it’s very invasive and expensive, somehow, it’ll end in formal disciplinary action.
However, DUI don’t necessarily have to be a career-ending event for licensed healthcare professionals. It’s best to reach out for a medical license defense attorney before reporting a DUI to the board. The defense counsel knows how to properly report the violation and secure the client in the best position before the board.
Thus, it’s more expensive to try to reverse a licensing action than to hire a professional licensing attorney to prevent undesirable outcomes.
5. Sexual Misconduct
Unprofessional conduct like sexual abuse and inappropriate relations with a patient against doctors or nurses is considered a criminal offense and can be a ground for disciplinary action.
Physicians are held to a high standard and will be liable for inducing a hostile work environment like sexual harassment, and verbal and non-verbal behaviors of abuse toward patients
For instance, a doctor can be charged with a crime even if the patient voluntarily agrees to divulge into a sexual relationship. Even actions that occur outside the hospital setting can lead to complaints of sexual misconduct.
The medical board is responsible for the issuance of license and regulation of physicians and surgeons. Their task is to ensure that doctors are performing medicine within the standard operation in the medical community. Also, it’s the role of the board to review and investigate charges filed against healthcare professionals. The immediate help of the medical license defense lawyer can prevent healthcare professionals from revocation of licenses.