Monterey License Attorney



The Podiatrist Medical Board of California regulates the licensing and practice of licensed podiatrists in the state. The primary role of the podiatrist board is to regulate and enforce rules for professionals while protecting the welfare of patients by ensuring the proper codes of conduct are followed.

As a podiatrist, obtaining and retaining your license is the last hurdle before you start your career. Unfortunately, deviation from the expected code of conduct could result in severe disciplinary action, including permanently revoking your license. If you are reported for negligence, failure to offer proper care to patients, or criminal convictions, the board will take disciplinary action against you.

This could include the denial of a license or the suspension or revocation of your podiatry license. Fortunately, not all allegations will result in disciplinary action. With the expert legal guidance we offer at Monterey License Attorney, you can build a solid defense and present it to the board for a chance to continue practicing in the podiatry field.

Role of Podiatrists

Podiatrists are medical specialists who deal with problems affecting your feet and lower legs. Although these professionals do not attend medical school, they undergo training and certification to offer their services in California. The California Board of Podiatric Medicine is responsible for licensing and regulating the practice of these professionals. After receiving the necessary training and licensing, podiatrists could perform the following activities:

  • Diagnosis of foot ailments, including fractures, ulcers, and tumors.
  • Offering corrective treatments like casts, strappings, and orthotics to correct foot deformities.
  • Innovation of treatment strategies for different conditions.
  • Providing individualized consultations to patients.
  • Correct balance and walking patterns for patients.

Some of the conditions that podiatrists can treat include:

  • Fractures and sprains. Podiatrists work in sports medicine by treating ankle and foot injuries commonly experienced by athletes.
  • Nail disorders. Conditions like ingrown toenails or nail infections can cause severe pain and discomfort for the patient. A podiatrist can help relieve these symptoms by designing the proper treatment, given the severity of the condition.
  • Diabetes foot. Diabetes can damage the nerves of the legs, making it impossible to notice small wounds on the leg. The wounds could worsen and create a need for an amputation. A podiatrist can help diagnose and treat the diabetes foot to prevent amputation.
  • Arthritis. Arthritis is common among individuals over fifty years old, resulting from joint wear and tear. A podiatrist can recommend physical therapy, surgery, and other treatment options for the condition.

Ethics of the California Board of Podiatric Medicine

A code of ethics is a set of principles a professional must follow. After completing the necessary studies and examinations, the board will issue you a license to provide services to patients in the state. Although obtaining a license is the last hurdle you need to kick-start your podiatry career, the licensing board has a set of ethics and rules that you must follow to ensure that you offer safe and reliable care for the patients.

Common principles of ethical conduct for podiatrists in California include:

  • Confidentiality. A licensed podiatrist must respect the confidence of their patients and other medical practitioners. This is done by keeping personal information divulged to them confidential.
  • Accountability. A California Board of Podiatric Medicine member must assume ownership of their behaviors and actions.
  • Dignity. A licensed podiatrist must always uphold honor and dignity through their professional actions.
  • Consent. Except in emergencies, a podiatrist must obtain consent from a patient before undertaking an examination or performing procedures.
  • Effective communication. A licensed podiatrist must provide patients with relevant information to enable them to make informed medical decisions.
  • Sensitivity to diversity. As a podiatrist, you are expected to value and respect the differences among patients and families who seek your care.

Possible Complaints Against Podiatrists in California

You may be at risk of facing disciplinary action against your podiatrist license if you are reported for the following violations:

  • Unprofessional conduct and false advertising.
  • Insurance misrepresentation and fraud.
  • Failure to allow patients proper access to their medical records.
  • Failure to maintain confidentiality as required by the code of ethics.
  • Professional incompetence and gross negligence.
  • Criminal convictions.
  • Drug abuse and addiction.
  • Causing reckless harm to a patient.
  • Alleged mental incapacitation.

Defending your Podiatry License

Most disciplinary cases begin when your violation is reported to the California Board of Podiatric Medicine. A patient, a colleague, or an insurance agent could make the report. Additionally, the state could bring a complaint against you by notifying the board of your criminal conviction. Your case will undergo the following stages:

Investigation. After receiving a complaint against you, the California Board of Podiatric Medicine will investigate the incident. The inquiry will involve notifying you about the complaint and requiring you to give a response. This helps determine whether the claims can be substantiated.

  • Consent order. A hearing may not be necessary if there is sufficient evidence against you. Instead, you will enter into an agreement where you confess to the wrongdoing and negotiate a favorable disciplinary action. While this could resolve the matter faster and give you a chance to negotiate the course of action, it may not be advantageous when the allegations are of a severe violation.
  • Formal hearing. The board holds a formal hearing if your case is not resolved with a consent hearing. At this hearing, you can present a defense against the allegations. The hearing is held before an administrative law judge or before the board. A skilled lawyer preparing and attending this hearing is critical to ensuring a solid defense.
  • Board decision. After the formal hearing, the board will decide whether your case will be dismissed or if you will face disciplinary action. A board hearing is different from a formal trial. Therefore, the board must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the violations.

Disciplinary Action Against Podiatrists

The BPM can impose various disciplinary actions on you after determining that you engaged in the violations reported against you. Some of the factors that could impact the type and severity of the disciplinary action you will face include:

  • Whether or not a patient was harmed. Violations committed by podiatrists range in severity. These include failure to provide the necessary care, negligence, or even the wrong procedures. You risk facing harsher disciplinary action if your violation involves injury or harm to a patient.
  • Prior complaints on your record. Whether or not there are other professional violations on your podiatrist license will determine the type of disciplinary action you will face. For professionals with multiple offenses, there is a risk of suspension or revocation of the podiatry license.
  • Whether a criminal case has been filed against you. Sometimes, the California Board of Podiatric Medicine will take disciplinary action against a licensed podiatrist for violating California law. This could include actions like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and other acts that attract criminal charges. Whether or not a criminal charge has been filed against you for such conduct will help dictate your punishment.
  • The strength of your defense. When a complaint reaches the board, they will investigate the claim to determine whether or not the allegations can be substantiated. You will have the right to build a defense and present it to the board. The strength of the defense you offer against the allegations could dictate the nature of your punishment.

The following are some of the disciplinary actions you could face as a podiatrist for violations reported to the board:

Mandatory Examination to Keep Your License

If you committed a minor violation, it may indicate that you lack familiarity with the required conduct as a podiatrist. In this case, the board may order you to undergo an examination. In this case, you will be given some time to study and sit for the exam for a chance to keep your license and continue practicing. The board can order more severe disciplinary action if you fail the examination.


Professional probation is a common outcome of a professional violation imposed by the California Board of Podiatric Medicine. Although being placed on probation will not cause you to lose your podiatry license, the board will impose conditions you must follow to enable you to continue offering your services in the state.

Your probation may last up to three years, depending on the violation you committed or the outcome of your administrative hearing. Being on professional probation restricts where you can work and the services you can provide.

California law allows you to petition the podiatry board for a modification of your probation terms after serving at least one year of the expected term. Additionally, you can file for an early termination of professional probation after serving up to two years. The board can accept terminating or modifying your probation if there is evidence that you have followed the set probation conditions.

Requirement to Participate in an Ethics Class

The California Board of Podiatric Medicine has set rules and ethical requirements that each licensed professional must follow when offering services in the state. Sometimes, the violations reported to the board may result from failing to follow ethical instructions. If your violation is not severe enough to warrant a license suspension or revocation, the board could order you to participate in ethics classes.

The principles of ethical conduct you will learn from these classes include accountability, confidentiality, and integrity. The duration of the ethical classes will vary depending on the specific violation.

License Suspension

Another standard disciplinary action against podiatrists with more severe violations in California is suspending the podiatry license. A license suspension means you can no longer practice as a podiatrist throughout the suspension period. You cannot retain your current job or find a new one with a suspended license.

After the suspension period ends, you can petition the board for a license reinstatement.

License Revocation

The most severe consequence you could face against your podiatry license after a reported violation in California is a license revocation. Unlike a license suspension, a revocation is a permanent order that causes you to lose your rights to practice podiatry in California or another state.

The process of recovering your license after a revocation is lengthy and complicated. Therefore, hiring and retaining a skilled lawyer is critical if you face a license revocation.

Reinstating your Podiatrist License in California

Even after the suspension or revocation period has ended, your rights to practice as a podiatrist will not be automatically reinstated. Instead, you must file a petition with the board for reinstatement. Your petition must indicate factual and legal justifications for why you deserve a license reinstatement.

When you file a petition, the board will schedule a reinstatement hearing. At this hearing, the burden of proof falls on you. Therefore, you will need a skilled licensed defense lawyer to help you prove that you have followed through with the suspension conditions and deserve reinstatement.

Can I get my Podiatrist License with a Criminal History?

When you apply for a podiatrist license in California, the Board of Podiatrists will investigate you. This will include evidence of your training and examination and your criminal record. Whether or not your conviction can be used to deny your license will depend on the underlying offense and its effect on your ability to offer proper care for patients.

Find a Competent License Defense Lawyer Near Me

Your years of education and training as a podiatrist could go down the drain when you lose your license. This could result in suspension or revocation by the Podiatry License Board. The board will seek disciplinary action against you if you are reported for activities like insurance fraud, patient complaints, billing concerns, unprofessional conduct, or criminal convictions.

After a violation is reported, the board will investigate the case and hold an administrative hearing. At the end of the hearing, the board determines the appropriate measures to take against you depending on the nature of the allegations, your record, and the strength of your defense.

If you are a licensed podiatrist, you should not take an allegation and investigation by the California Board of Podiatric Medicine lightly. At Monterey License Attorney, we will offer expert legal guidance to help you avoid a license denial or loss of your already-acquired podiatrist license in Monterey, CA. Contact us at 831-296-1191 for much-needed legal insight.

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