Doctors in San Diego, whether physicians, surgeons or activating in any other field, have patients and families depending on them and strict regulations by which to abide. When something goes wrong, or their patients or colleagues question their actions, the California Medical Licensing Board investigates them. No doctor should face such an investigation without an experienced San Diego medical license defense attorney on their side.
The medical license is a doctor’s most valuable possession. Without it, all those years of hard study and training become useless, and all those hopes and perspectives of building a successful career become lost dreams. Doctors who lose their licenses rarely get it back, and, if they don’t, finding employment in their line of work becomes close to impossible.
If you believe your license is at risk, no matter the circumstances, you should consult a medical license defense lawyer. They can help you evaluate your case, assess the risks, and figure out the best steps to follow. Here are a few common scenarios when the experience and knowledge of a medical license defense attorney can come in handy:
- You applied for a license or a license renewal, and you received a Statement of Issues instead
- If you have already lost your license, and you are trying to reinstate it
- You are facing criminal convictions, and you expect the Board to conduct their own investigations and take their own disciplinary actions
- Failure to report a misdemeanor conviction or a felony charge, and the Board found out about it, and they are investigating you
- Someone filed a complaint with the Board regarding your activity, and you received an Accusation letter
At San Diego Criminal, we know how stressful these situations are, and we stand by our clients, supporting them to make the best decisions, taking over the formalities of the medical license defense process, negotiating with the Board on their behalf, and obtaining the best possible outcome in their circumstances.
We often begin our work by explaining to our clients how the California Medical Licensing Board works, to help them prepare for the future and help relieve some of the worries. We will do the same in the following lines. Call us today and schedule a free consultation.
The Three Types of Medical Board Investigations
The Medical Board of California not only licenses and regulates the activity of physicians, surgeons, and other professionals in the medical field but also enforces California’s laws and Medical Practice Act. The actions they take to enforce these laws and regulations or to punish anyone violating them will depend on how serious the charges against a licensee are and what evidence is available.
In our experience, Medical Board investigations target three types of cases:
- Minor misdemeanor convictions that do not raise major concerns regarding the licensee’s character
If reported, they do not usually trigger disciplinary measures. Common examples are DUI involving low blood alcohol concentrations, disturbing public peace, or minor traffic-related misdemeanors. Those who failed to report any misdemeanor convictions should discuss their case with a San Diego medical license defense lawyer, to make sure their omission will not have unwanted consequences.
- Crimes that raise concerns regarding the licensee’s character
Reporting these types of crimes is mandatory, and the Medical Board will almost always take some disciplinary measures against the licensee. Common examples refer to substance abuse, fraud, theft, violence, or sexual misconduct. Some of these may result in the immediate revocation of the license, so it is best to discuss them with an experienced medical license defense attorney.
- Complaints related to professional ethical violations and misconduct
If proven, these are the ones that usually have the most serious repercussions, leading to license suspensions, revocation, and other disciplinary measures. Common examples are positive drug tests, medical malpractice claims, healthcare fraud convictions or charges, probation violation, previous license suspensions, administrative disciplinary actions, and more.
It is important to note that, if unreported or managed superficially, any of these types of cases can impact your license and future career. If your case falls into any of the above-described categories or is already under investigation by the Medical Board, you should consult a medical license defense lawyer immediately.
What are the Key Aspects of the Medical License Defense Process?
When the California Medical Licensing Board receives a complaint or notice of a licensee’s violations of the law that may require disciplinary measures, they usually trigger an investigation. Depending on how serious the accusations are and the information and evidence the board has available, a Board inspector will contact the licensee to request additional information and investigate their activity, or the licensee will receive a letter informing them of the ongoing investigation.
This would be the best time for the licensee to contact a medical license defense lawyer, as everything they do from this point on may have serious repercussions. If the licensee did not receive a formal letter, a lawyer can help defend their interests and convince the Board inspector they have nothing to worry about and no disciplinary actions are necessary.
If the investigation is formal, the medical license defense process will involve complying with various procedures and formalities, as well as efforts similar to those required when facing a court trial. For example, upon receiving the letter of Accusation, the licensee has a limited amount of time to announce their intention to defend their license.
They can do so by filing a Notice of Defense with the Board. The deadline for doing it is very short, usually of fifteen days. After receiving the Notice of Defense, the Board will forward the licensee’s case to an administrative law judge. A medical license defense lawyer will find it easy to prepare and file the notice of defense, as this is part of daily routine in their activity.
The pre-hearing process and a mediation conference will follow. This is when the Board’s representatives and the licensee and their medical license defense attorney can review the available evidence, gather and present new evidence, and support their case with witness testimonies.
In our experience, if the accusations against the licensee are justified, it helps to present mitigating evidence at this stage, to show why the licensee acted the way they did, that they regret their actions, and took measures to avoid future occurrences of the kind.
We often help our clients prove that their unethical behavior occurred at a time when their judgment was shadowed by the loss of someone they loved, depression, or some other circumstances. A Letter of Reprimand and enrollment in a substance abuse program are alternatives worth taking into account compared to losing a medical license as well.
At San Diego Criminal, our medical license defense attorneys study all options and recommend the best course of action to our clients, allowing the latter to decide how to proceed. In many cases, we manage to obtain favorable settlements for our clients before the administrative hearing.
When that is not possible, we represent our clients at the hearing and convince the administrative law judge to rule in our favor. When that is not possible either, we do not hesitate to file an appeal. We know how important their medical license is for our clients, and we stop at nothing to protect it.
Contact San Diego Criminal for a Medical License Defense Lawyer
When your medical license is at stake, you have no time to lose, and you cannot afford to make mistakes. You can make every second count and put together an infallible medical license defense strategy with the help of a San Diego Criminal lawyer. Contact our office now and schedule a free consultation to receive the advice and support you need!