Becoming a doctor takes a tremendous amount of effort, years of education and a lot of dedication – but it can all be for nothing if you lose your license to practice.
Unfortunately, physicians can be at the mercy of any number of accusations that can put their career in jeopardy. These are some of the most common reasons a doctor can have their medical license suspended or revoked.
Negligence or incompetence
Failing to provide appropriate care or demonstrating incompetence in their medical practice can result in serious consequences for physicians, including allegations of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider’s actions or decisions deviate from the standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. Common examples include surgical errors, misdiagnoses, prescription errors and failure to obtain informed consent.
Mental health issues
Doctors see a lot of tragedy, and the high-pressure working environment can understandably cause a lot of emotional problems. Tragically, many doctors are reluctant to seek help for mental health issues because even that can put their medical licenses in danger.
The use of alcohol and drugs can have devastating consequences for a physician’s career – and their patients. However, just like mental health issues, physicians may be afraid to admit they have a problem for fear that any admission could put their licenses at risk.
Any criminal conviction
Maintaining a clean criminal record is vital for physicians since they’re expected to act ethically both in and out of the medical setting. A conviction for things like drug possession, drug distribution, fraud, sexual assault or a violent crime (including domestic violence) can be disastrous.
Lax documentation and loose office procedures when it comes to paperwork can be a real danger for a physician if there are allegations of insurance fraud. Not only could that result in criminal penalties or fines, it could easily lead to sanctions by the licensing board.
If you’re a physician who is facing allegations of wrongdoing that could affect your ability to practice, it’s important to learn everything you can about your options. A strong defense can potentially help to protect both your reputation and your livelihood.