Monterey License Attorney



Your professional license as a doctor of osteopathic medicine is by far a precious asset. The dedication, money, and time you have invested in school and obtaining licensure are vital. When an accusation threatens the license with suspension, revocation, or probation, your likelihood is on the line. You are legally entitled to defend yourself before the judge, where you will challenge the board’s evidence against you and confront witnesses. However, you should not represent yourself; you can forfeit this right by making simple mistakes and failing to know how to approach the matter. At Monterey License Attorney, we can challenge requests for your medical record, defend your financial and medical privacy as a professional, collect evidence to develop the best legal defense, work with osteopathic medical experts, and represent your rights at the interview with the licensing board interviewer.

Your Role and Responsibilities As a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

Obtaining a license to practice osteopathy is lengthy, strenuous, demanding, and costly. Primarily because the osteopathic branch of medicine requires specialization, you should attain a regular doctor's medical status before advancing to train for an osteopathic license.

As an osteopathic medicine (DO) doctor, you offer an alternative treatment to assist patients with various ailments affecting the nervous, muscular, digestive, and circulatory systems. You operate under the medical principle that human bodies, tissues, and systems are interlinked. You use osteopathic manipulative treatment to identify and rectify the source of your underlying health concerns.

Patients consult you when experiencing enduring pain and different persistent signs, and you provide massage therapy treatment for those medical conditions. You use diagnostic doctors' equipment in your practice, like spinal analysis and ultrasounds. An osteopath also offers practical advice on diet, exercise, and wholeness. Where appropriate, you can refer a patient to another healthcare provider.

Even with the critical medical services osteopaths deliver and the immense time, investment, effort, and resources involved in procuring a license to practice osteopathy, a single accusation of wrongdoing can lead to losing a license.

Osteopathic Medical Board of California and Its Disciplinary Regulations

The Osteopathic Medical Board of California regulates osteopathic practice and doctors of osteopathic medicine in the state. The state government agency is tasked with protecting the interests and safety of the public. It issues professional licenses after ensuring the licensee has the appropriate credentials and training. It also investigates accusations of misconduct facing osteopathic doctors.

Depending on the severity of the DO’s accusations, the OMBC can impose various disciplinary measures for violating the California Business and Professional Code. These disciplinary actions can include the following:

  • Public citation.
  • Fine.
  • Probation.
  • A reprimand letter.
  • Suspension of a license.
  • Revocation of a license.

Some common accusations, if validated, that can lead to disciplinary action from the OMBC are as follows:

  • Sexual misconduct.
  • Prescribing excessive treatment.
  • Insurance fraud.
  • Incompetence or gross negligence.
  • Physical or mental incapacity.
  • Permitting an unlicensed assistant to work under you.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Providing a person with a substance use disorder with drugs.
  • Felony or misdemeanor convictions.
  • Overstepping your scope of practice.
  • Failing to maintain adequate patient records.
  • Issuing unlawful cancer treatment forms.
  • Treating a patient while intoxicated.
  • Giving prescriptions without administering a medical exam.
  • Having an ongoing investigation by a federal or another state agency.
  • Forging records.

It is seamless for someone to file a complaint with the OMBC online or in writing. In most cases, the OMBC will investigate the matter.

The board handles less severe offenses through a public citation, a fine, a reprimand letter, and an abatement order to stop engaging in the alleged wrongful act. However, even these disciplinary measures are worth contesting because fines are sometimes hefty, and posting disciplinary actions against you on the board’s website can negatively impact your capacity to obtain new patients or secure new employment.

A severe accusation can lead to the revocation of your osteopathic license. Fortunately, your attorney can challenge the allegation and work aggressively to receive a stay of revocation along with probation (a short probationary period requiring the fulfillment of specific probationary conditions) if a case dismissal is unattainable. Probation allows you to carry on your osteopath practice under particular stipulations. Your lawyer can also fight reduced and minimal probationary terms if receiving a probationary sentence is an unavoidable outcome in your case.

If you receive a formal accusation or citation notice, you should respond to the allegation within 15 days by filing a notice of defense. Your lawyer should help you act promptly.

In most cases, lawyers argue to dismiss the accusation of wrongful conduct due to insufficient evidence before the case goes into a hearing. Sometimes, negotiating for a stipulated agreement is more favorable than waiting for an administrative hearing.

Suppose the board files a notice of citation, and an administrative hearing is inevitable. In that case, your legal counsel should assess the statement of issues from the OMBC and file your defense submission. They should investigate every angle of the accusation to understand the available evidence and the testimony validating your charges and collect evidence to refute them. Your attorney will also ask witnesses specific questions to expose a weak case or inadequate evidence.

However, if the case facts do not allow for a complete case dismissal, negotiating a favorable plea that the ALJ and the prosecutor find acceptable will enable you to save your license.

Criminal Offenses and Convictions

Per California Business and Professional Section 490, the OMBC and other state licensing boards can administer disciplinary action against a license if you receive a conviction for an offense, whether a felony or misdemeanor. Nonetheless, California Business and Professional Sections 2237 and 2236a require that the conviction be associated with your qualifications and duties as a practitioner of osteopathy.

Even when you plead no contest or guilty during a plea deal, or the court drops your charges after completing your court-imposed probationary term, it still constitutes a criminal conviction according to the OMBC guidelines.

Convictions that are considered substantially connected to the practice of osteopathy, depending on the case facts, include the following:

  • Sexual battery.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Grand theft.
  • Minor possession of illegal substances.
  • Driving under the influence.
  • Insurance fraud.

If the OMBC finds the accusations of wrongdoing against you valid, the prosecution can request the osteopathic practice restriction pending your case resolution. Your attorney should contest this. However, if your professional license is restricted, the limitation could fall under one of these 3 categories:

  • Restrictions that would lead to you qualifying for bail.
  • Restrictions that would lead to imposing specific conditions as part of your OMBC sentence if there are discussions for a stipulated agreement.
  • Restrictions leading to a license suspension that starts right away and progresses until your case's resolution.

The administrative law judge can schedule a hearing to decide whether to grant or deny the prosecutor’s requested restrictions. Your lawyer can oppose the restrictions in writing to the OMBC. Prevailing in the special hearing is crucial if a temporary suspension is at play because criminal trials can linger on for several months or years.

Probationary Terms and Conditions

Here is what you need to understand about probation:

  1. Suppose the board suspended or revoked your license or application for approval or you served probation. In that case, you can petition the OMBC for license reinstatement or reduction of the disciplinary penalty, including for probationary sentence termination after the elapsing of the minimum probation period from the date of imposing the disciplinary measures. The minimum sentences are as follows:
  • No less than 3 years for license reinstatement or approval canceled due to unethical conduct, except if the OMBC finds good cause to claim in a revocation order that reinstatement is possible after the elapsing of 2 years.
  • Not less than 2 years when there is an early probation termination of 3 years or longer.
  • A minimum of 1 year for reduction of a probation condition, license reinstatement, revoked approval due to physical or mental sickness, or probationary sentence termination of below 3 years.
  1. Your petition should highlight all facts as the OMBC instructs. The petition should attach two authenticated recommendations from doctors licensed by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California or the Medical Board of California who clearly understand a petitioner's undertakings from when the board imposed a disciplinary action.
  2. Upon the OMBC's petition hearing, the California board can assign your case to an ALJ judge. After a petition hearing, the judge will propose a case resolution to the OMBC that will take action in line with the California Administrative Procedure Act.
  3. The OMBC or the ALJ judge conducting the petition hearing could consider the undertakings of a petitioner from when the disciplinary penalty was issued, the crime that led to the petitioner being penalized, the petitioner's behavior when the license was in good standing, and the petitioner’s efforts at rehabilitation, overall truthful reputation, and professional capability. The judge could schedule an administrative hearing if the OMBC or ALJ judge finds it fit.
  4. The OMBC or ALJ judge could suggest imposing the necessary probationary terms and conditions during the petition hearing for license reinstatement or approval modification of a penalty.
  5. No petition should be reviewed when serving a disciplinary sentence for a criminal crime, including when you are on court-imposed parole or probation. Also, the board should not review any petition when there is an allegation or petition to terminate probation awaiting action against the individual.
  6. The OMBC can deny a petition without conducting an argument or hearing according to this section within 2 years, effective from the previous decision.

You should comply with the following probationary terms and conditions:

  • Informing involved parties of the disciplinary penalty, including the healthcare facility where you have membership and privileges and the physician's malpractice insurance provider.
  • You are banned from overseeing practice nurses and doctor’s assistants.
  • You must obey local and federal laws.
  • Availing yourself for interviews with the OMBC when instructed.
  • Paying costs of probation and restitution.
  • Surrendering your medical license for non-compliance to the probationary terms and conditions.
  • Submitting declarations on compliance with your probationary terms.
  • Notifying the OMBC of periods of non-practice more than 30 calendar days.

Petitioning For a License Reinstatement

If the licensing board revokes your professional license, there is still hope for your osteopathic career.

The petitioning process to reinstate your revoked license is difficult. You have a burden of proof to demonstrate why the OMBC should reinstate your professional license. Your petition should include certain elements, as listed below:

  • Accepting responsibility that your wrongful acts caused the revocation.
  • Prove your rehabilitation and a commitment not to repeat the wrongful act.
  • Reasons demonstrating why you should be allowed a license reinstatement.

You should handle the case records keenly; sometimes, the ALJ can schedule a hearing to make the final decision. Your lawyer will present arguments, evidence, and assertions to support your case before the ALJ to increase the possibility of you receiving reinstatement of the osteopathic professional license.

An Osteopathic Practice License Approval

An attorney can also offer assistance and expertise if you want to have your license application approved.

Your lawyer will identify any grounds that might make the OMB deny or refuse you a license. They will present your case to the board regarding the issue(s) and gather the necessary documents for resubmission if the board has previously denied your license.

Suppose the issue involves a previous conviction regarding a case that occurred while you were still in your doctor’s training involving alcohol, drugs, or some other substance. In that case, the conviction is still on your criminal record, regardless of whether the accusation was valid. Your attorney can pursue the matter with the OMBC for a favorable resolution that allows you to receive a license to practice osteopathy.

What You Should Do After Learning You are Facing an OMBC investigation

Based on the facts of your case, you can do the following to increase your odds of obtaining a favorable case outcome:

  • Scheduling a meeting with the investigating officer or the Deputy Attorney General to present your evidence to deny the accusation or reduce the measure of discipline.
  • Creating a plan for rehabilitation.
  • Corresponding with expert investigators and witnesses.
  • Collecting evidence to support a package for rehabilitation or to prove mitigating factors.
  • Preparing a case defense to contest the charges during an administrative hearing.
  • Seek legal representation.

In every case, your attorney’s primary objective is to dismiss the complaint without the board taking any formal disciplinary action against you. If that proves challenging, negotiating a lesser disciplinary penalty is the next move.

Contact a Qualified Professional License Defense Attorney Near Me

No DO ever starts their career expecting they will one day be a subject of discipline by the OMBC or, worse, have their professional license revoked or suspended. If you face disciplinary action, it can feel like a bad dream, and your likelihood and career are at stake. This is the time to act promptly and seek legal guidance. At Monterey License Attorney, we understand the hard work you have put into your career and can offer assistance during the legal process by analyzing the complaint, gathering evidence to develop effective defense strategies, representing you before an ALJ, drafting a compelling response to the complaint, and negotiating with the board.

Please contact us at 831-296-1191 for a confidential case review and learn how we can protect your livelihood, life, future, and career.

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