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Medical License Defense: What Does a Professional License Attorney Do?

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A California medical license defense attorney can help you start or resume your healthcare career. While your job as a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional is fulfilling, it can be challenging too. After all, your work and behavior can be under scrutiny by your employer since you directly impact the health and well-being of patients. As a result, you need to be careful not to commit any civil violations or crimes that may cause your license to be suspended or revoked by the state medical board.

Professional License Defense Attorney Overview

A professional license defense attorney is responsible for safeguarding the occupational license of professionals so you can exercise your right to work. License defense lawyers represent licensees when governmental regulatory boards take disciplinary actions against individuals accused of professional misconduct, unethical behavior, or criminal actions. They also handle other matters related to occupational licenses.

Here are the three main responsibilities of these attorneys:

  1. Reinstatement Petitions: They provide legal assistance to former professionals whose license was revoked or suspended so they can return to work in the industry again.
  2. Discipline Defense: They defend practicing licensed professionals who face disciplinary action when accused of unethical behavior, work misconduct, or crimes.
  3. Application Appeals: They make formal appeals for aspiring professionals whose application for a professional license has been denied or who had a “Statement of Issues” filed against them.

While there are different types of license defense attorneys, a medical license defense lawyer specializes in cases involving physicians and other licensed healthcare professionals.

Common Disciplinary Actions That Require Medical License Defense

There are various disciplinary measures that doctors and other healthcare professionals in California may face throughout their careers. Here are some examples of common disciplinary actions you may encounter that require the legal services of a California medical license defense attorney:

1. Challenges in Getting a Medical License

Attorneys offer legal aid to medical students and aspiring doctors who find it hard to get a physician license because of their previous license-related disciplinary issues or criminal histories. It is still possible for people with prior sanctions or convictions to apply for a license, although the approval may take longer than usual. Attorneys can represent individuals during the application procedures and medical board hearings to expedite the process.

2. Impairment Issues

Lawyers provide legal guidance to doctors and nurses who were given a mandatory referral to an impairment program and assist those who wish to contact the Health Professionals Recovery Program (HPRP), Professionals Resource Network (PRN), or Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN). Attorneys share practical insights regarding impairment program options. They also help with adjusting the terms of monitoring agreements for the benefit of medical professionals.

3. Drug Diversion Allegations

Lawyers assist doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and other healthcare workers with drug diversion allegations related to the theft of narcotics from the hospital or medical facility, failure to dispose of substances properly, and mistakes in the Pyxis system. They can help prevent criminal charges and the suspension or revocation of a medical license due to minor licensing violations and multiple-count federal indictments.

4. Positive Employment Drug Test

Attorneys represent doctors and nurses accused of consuming illicit substances or misusing prescription drugs. A positive drug test may lead to negative reports to the medical board or the state government. Legal professionals can circumvent the instant suspension of the physician’s or other healthcare worker’s medical license.

5. DUI

Lawyers can help physicians and other medical professionals avoid having their license revoked or suspended because of DUI (driving under the influence) issues. They also guide healthcare workers in meeting the monitoring requirements of the state-sponsored professional help program (PHP).

6. Medical License Suspension

Attorneys offer legal services to doctors and other healthcare professionals who wish to restore their medical license after a suspension. A license suspension can result from probation violations, drug convictions, incomplete CMEs, positive drug tests, fraud allegations, unpaid student loans, or failure to meet impairment program requirements.

7. Criminal Charges

Lawyers provide legal assistance to doctors with present criminal charges and previous criminal convictions so they can gain or restore their medical license. A licensedlicense attorney will also continue to protect the license of physicians and other medical professionals even after the criminal charges have been cleared or resolved.

8. Sister-State Disciplinary Actions and Criminal Convictions

Attorneys can guide doctors and other healthcare workers to report sister-state actions and convictions in a proper, prompt manner. The act of reporting necessitates the right balance between proving the physician’s qualifications to practice professionally and avoiding excessive information sharing, which could adversely affect a doctor’s medical license.

Outcomes From the Medical Board of California

The Medical Board of California (MBC) oversees the official licensing of physicians in California and plays a significant role in a medical professional’s ability to work in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare workers must follow the standards set by the MBC regulations and the Medical Practice Act. Disciplinary actions for failure to meet these standards may impact current medical licenses, and license applications may be denied because of one’s criminal history or disciplinary record.

Doctors and healthcare professionals need to request legal assistance from a medical board attorney if the validity of their license is affected by decisions from the MBC.

California Medical License Defense FAQs

1. Are You Allowed To Represent Yourself Before the MBC?

Yes. You are allowed to represent yourself before the MBC if you are a doctor, nurse, or medical professional who is undergoing a board investigation. Nevertheless, it might not be to your advantage to represent yourself if you do not have sufficient legal knowledge and skill. If you don’t handle the investigation properly, you may face disciplinary action such as license revoking or suspension.

2. Is It Possible To Get Your Medical License Back After It Was Suspended or Revoked?

Yes. You can petition the MBC to reinstate your license after it was revoked or suspended, based on the Business and Professing Code of California. You may also request the MBC to end or modify your probation. Your petition will be presented to a board panel or an administrative law judge (ALJ).

3. What Steps Should You Take if You Are Under Board Investigation?

Consult with a medical board attorney if you are under investigation by the MBC. A lawyer can strategize how to handle your case best, so you should hire an attorney as soon as possible.

Protect Your Physician License

Don’t miss the opportunity to continue making a difference in the health and well-being of your patients as a doctor or healthcare professional. It is possible to resume your career even if your physician license was suspended or revoked by the state medical board.

If you are facing a disciplinary action that affects the validity of your healthcare professional license, reach out to us so that a knowledgeable medical board attorney can provide you with the license defense services you need.