Many physicians feel a deep ethical duty towards their patients. In fact, their profession as a physician depends on maintaining their state-approved license and credentials. It is an important duty. Sometimes, though, in our busy days, time or stress escapes us and we find ourselves facing disciplinary action from the Medical Board of California. This can be a distressing experience, so it is good to know what to expect.
If you receive a letter from the Board
If you receive a letter from the Board the first step is to stay calm. Panicking only makes things worse. The Board’s duty is to remain objective and determine whether a violation occurred based on the facts. If you do receive a letter by the Board respond as soon as you can and provide as much information as possible. Be honest. This can help ensure the Board understands your side of the story.
If you are facing disciplinary action
If the Medical Board of California finds that you violated the Medical Practice Act, your case will be sent to the Attorney General’s Office. They will prepare an accusation that outlines the charges against you and what laws have been violated. An administrative hearing will be held where you can dispute these charges. You can be represented by an attorney during these proceedings. They will be similar to a trial, but they are not as formal as a trial as they are overseen by an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ will propose a decision that will be send to the Board for consideration. This decision will either be approved, modified or denied.
Seek help if needed
Facing disciplinary action can be a distressing experience. Therefore, you will want to make sure you understand all your rights as a physician as well as your legal options for defending your professional license. Doing so may help you save your license so you can continue your chosen career.