Monterey License Attorney


Physicians & Surgeons

Working as a physician or a surgeon is demanding and requires you to possess specific skills in the field. As a professional in the medical field, you are under constant observation and evaluation to ensure that your patients receive high-quality medical services. Based on this, you may face complaints about the quality of services you provide and your overall qualifications as a physician or doctor. If so, you must consult your license attorney for advice and support throughout the accusations and investigation process.

At Monterey License Attorney, you will receive high-quality legal services to help you retain your medical practice license. Our team understands the rigorous training and experience process you underwent to become a surgeon or physician, and we aim to guide you through possible strategies to retain your license. With our help, you can also worry less about representing yourself in a disciplinary board hearing, as we will help you prepare adequately. Our services are available for anyone seeking legal advice on retaining their medical license in Monterey, California.

How the Medical Board of California Regulates Medical License Holders

As a professional in the medical field, you are subject to the regulations imposed by the Medical Board of California. The members serving on the board must ensure all medical practitioners, including surgeons and physicians, meet the minimum standards required to continue practicing.

Based on this, they undertake several roles to promote proper medical endeavors. As a physician or surgeon, you need to understand the core roles that the board plays, especially if you face misconduct accusations. Some of the board’s main roles include:

Setting Medical Practice Standards to Guide Professionals

The medical board’s priority is to safeguard the safety and well-being of patients interacting with a physician or surgeon. Setting practice standards for all medical practitioners is therefore critical, as the guidelines maintain a high standard for healthcare provision.

Medical board members constantly undertake the standard-setting role by reviewing existing policies and guidelines. They may also implement new procedural standards to remedy evolving challenges, especially those involving technology.

If you have not kept track of the guidelines and standards set by the medical board, you may breach their terms without knowing it. You will nevertheless face accusations that may jeopardize your practice license, so you need to act as fast as possible.

Your license attorney can help you identify the policy modifications that currently govern your field, giving you a chance to fight the accusations you face.

Enforcing Qualification Requirements for New Medical Professionals

After completing your medical school education, you must still receive certification and obtain a practicing license. The Medical Board of California is responsible for certifying you as a physician and surgeon, but they will only do so if you meet educational and professional requirements.

You can, therefore, expect the board to request your school certification, internship, residency status, and other relevant documents before approving your license as a physician or surgeon.

Upon facing an accusation that jeopardizes your practice license, you may have to reapply to the board for verification and reapproval. If so, you need your license attorney’s help to guide you through how to apply to the board.

Receiving Complaints from Clients

Although you may do your best to provide quality patient services, complaints that undermine your professional reputation may arise. Aggrieved patients are thus encouraged to present their complaints to the Medical Board of California for further review and assessment.

The board classifies the complaints it receives using different formats and based on the severity of each case. They will then request additional information from both the accusing party and you as the accused before determining the most suitable remedy to give.

As a professional facing a complaint, you need to follow through on the complaints issued against you and establish whether the claims are merited. Engaging your license attorney soon after receiving notice of a complaint is also essential, as they can begin working on your case immediately.

Overseeing Case Investigations

After receiving a complaint against you, the medical board authorizes investigations regarding your case. The investigation process is critical to helping prepare a justifiable case, and the board instructs authorized officers to begin the process.

Once investigations begin, you can expect the officers to access your practice clinic and look for the necessary information. Knowing the medical board’s mandate over the investigation process is important, as you can raise complaints about the nature of investigations.

For example, if the investigation officers lack the appropriate documentation and warrant to search your medical clinic, you can present your complaint to the medical board for review.

Possible Complaints Filed Against You

As a physician or surgeon, you must undertake your duties with extreme care, as you are responsible for human life. Making even the slightest error in your line of work can warrant a complaint by an aggrieved patient or their loved ones, prompting you to defend your license.

Due to this, you need to be familiar with complaints commonly raised against physicians and surgeons. Having a better understanding of possible accusations can help you prepare defenses ahead of a disciplinary hearing or the investigation process.

Some of the complaints you may face as a surgeon or physician include:

Sexual Harassment Against Your Patients or Colleagues

The medical workplace requires interacting with a diverse group of people of different genders. Since you handle multiple patients per day, you may fail to consider general references and boundaries for each patient. As a result, your actions may be perceived as sexual harassment if you undertake an action that offends the alleged victim’s personhood.

Sexual harassment accusations arise whether you offended the victim intentionally or unintentionally, leaving you at risk of losing your license. If you can justify your position by showing that your actions were unintentional, consider working closely with your license attorney to build a defense.

Hiring Unlicensed Medical Assistants

As a physician or a surgeon, you often handle delicate medical cases requiring assistance from a trained medical assistant. You should, therefore, hire an employee who has completed their education and understands the importance of performing each role accordingly.

Although the medical board sets medical assistant standards highly, the policies are not always enforceable, resulting in possibly hiring an unqualified employee. For example, some surgeons or physicians may work with untrained medical assistants because they charge lower hourly rates compared to those who are fully qualified.

Alternatively, you may hire an employee based on falsified records, meaning you were unaware of the false details. If they fabricated qualification documents or used another person’s identity to pass as their own, you can raise the issue to avoid personal liability.

Having a Criminal Record

Committing a criminal offense in the past can also be detrimental to your practice as a surgeon or physician. The primary reason for this is that your credibility diminishes significantly due to your involvement in unlawful practices.

You are likely to suffer harsher scrutiny if the criminal offense involved actions that directly affected your medical practice. For example, if you have a previous record of assaulting your patients that you tried to conceal from public access, someone may raise the complaint.

The board does not necessarily have to decide on revoking your medical license, but they will deliberate on a suitable enforcement remedy to ensure you demonstrate your ability to reform.

Prescribing Drugs illegally

Drug prescriptions require you to pay close attention to medication instructions and guidelines to ensure your patients receive the necessary drugs. Following the instructions as a medical professional is also crucial because it prevents overdoses and other complications like addiction arising from unregulated drug prescriptions.

A concerned patient or co-worker may complain to the Medical Board of California if they notice irregular prescription practices. For example, a surgeon who recommends multiple opioid pills to a specific patient as a pain remedy must justify the quantity.

If the patient presents signs of addiction, you should stop the prescription immediately and change to a suitable alternative to avoid possibly reinforcing the addiction. Failure to do so may warrant investigations into your practice, as you will have knowingly endangered the patient.

Irregular prescriptions may also signal a possible collision with third parties to sell drugs illegally. For example, authorizing a higher prescription than necessary for commonly abused drugs like Xanax may be traced to an ongoing illegal trade. As a result, you can expect the medical board to authorize investigations into your practice.

Keeping Inaccurate Medical Records

Your patients’ medical and personal practice records are crucial to properly running your practice, as they provide insight into your business. Maintaining proper records is a primary requirement for all surgeons and physicians, as they also serve as your patient’s primary medical history provider.

However, some medical professionals may alter medical records to compensate for their errors and gross negligence. You may also falsify medical records to conceal illegal business activities undertaken in your clinic, especially those involving the drug trade.

Once the medical board receives details surrounding your improper record-keeping, they will warrant an investigation to help ascertain the claims. Afterward, you are subject to their orders, including license suspension.

Committing Insurance Fraud

Medical insurance helps patients receive services without paying the fees but through an insurance scheme. Since the payment method requires you to file the type of service issued to the patient, fraudulent physicians and surgeons may provide inaccurate details for a higher payment.

Insurance fraud also involves providing unnecessary treatment services to patients, resulting in unnecessary payments that medical insurance must cover. When these attempts are uncovered, you face serious consequences.

Working Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Abusing drugs or alcohol while performing your role as a physician or surgeon is a gross violation of the medical code of conduct. Being intoxicated at work is especially dangerous because it exposes patients to negligence, as your judgment is impaired.

You are, therefore, accountable for breaching formal regulations that prevent drug and alcohol abuse. Upon facing the accusation, you must justify your position in court to avoid losing your medical license.

Potential Courses of Action that the Medical Board Could Take

After the Medical Board of California receives a complaint against you, your physician or surgeon license is in jeopardy. However, the complaint does not automatically result in a license revocation, as several other outcomes are possible. They include:

Directing You to Mediation

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that involves discussing each party’s needs and position. It is an excellent start toward resolving conflicts, and you have a higher chance of retaining your license if mediation is successful. Examples of cases you may resolve through mediation include keeping inaccurate records, provided you intend to rectify them.

Issuing You a Warning Letter

The medical board may also issue a warning letter as a remedy. It serves as a verbal reminder that committing similar malpractice as what you face charges for in the future will attract more serious penalties. The warning letter may be accessible to the public, but if your case involves minor violations, you may receive it personally.

Alternatively, the board may present a reprimand letter, accessible to members of the public. A letter of reprimand is harsher than a warning letter because it specifies your offense and shuns you from repeating it. Nevertheless, the reprimand letter should be off public records after a few months.

Ordering You to Adhere to an Enforcement Review

If the complaint raised against you involves repeated unlawful practices, you may have to appear before the board several times afterward for an enforcement review. During the process, you must demonstrate that you are working towards avoiding the repeated behavior.

License Suspension or Revocation Orders

A license suspension requires you to stop your practice for a specified period as punishment for your wrongdoings. During the suspension period, you must not benefit in any way from your practice as a surgeon or a physician. The board may also order you to suspend full clinic operations until you serve the full term.

On the other hand, license revocation orders involve completely terminating your medical license. Based on this, you cannot continue your practice because the medical board has ordered your termination indefinitely. Despite this, you can request that your license attorney negotiate for license reinstatement.

Overall, working with a license attorney is essential because they help you navigate retaining or reinstating your license. For example, they help you obtain evidence, assess the statement of claims, and represent you during the medical board hearing.

Contact a License Attorney Near Me

When your physician or surgeon license is at risk, you need to act quickly to retain it and continue with your work. This involves fighting the accusations of medical malpractice or incompetence you may face, and you will need the help of a qualified license attorney.

At Monterey License Attorney, we dedicate ourselves to helping you fight for your medical license, regardless of the accusations you face. Our team is ready to gather evidence, reach the complainant, and negotiate with the medical license board on your behalf. Our services are available in Monterey, California, for anyone seeking legal guidance on retaining their license. For more information, call us today at 831-296-1191.

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