Healthcare Anger Management

| Posted in Licensing Defense on April 4, 2023

On any given day, we all experience a range of emotions. Healthcare professionals are no different. They may be frustrated, happy, sad, or surprised, just like anyone else. However, when a particular emotion – anger – interferes with their work, it may result in a referral to their licensing Board for unprofessional conduct.

Unprofessional conduct is a broad term that encompasses many different potential violations, from incompetence to procuring a license by fraud to being convicted of a crime related to the practice of medicine, nursing, or a related healing arts profession. You may also face discipline for unprofessional conduct if you display excessive anger or rage at work or even in your personal life. These types of violations can lead to serious consequences, including probation, suspension, or even revocation of your license to practice.

At the Law Offices of Nicole Irmer, we understand that physicians, nurses, psychologists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals may go through challenging times that lead to allegations of unprofessional conduct. We are dedicated to helping healthcare professionals achieve the best possible outcome for their cases through a proactive, multi-pronged strategy. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.

Why Anger Issues May Be Considered Unprofessional Conduct

Anger is an emotion that we all experience. When that anger becomes excessive or impacts other people, however, it can impact your career in healthcare. 

For example, the Medical Board of California has expressed concern and even launched investigations into the conduct of its physicians whose anger may potentially impact patient care.  The investigation is launched because of “unprofessional conduct” pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 4301.

There have been television characterizations of physicians acting out with tantrums, lashing out at the nurses for calling with concerns about patients, and throwing instruments in the operating room. Although this makes good drama for t.v. and movies, it could potentially have severe ramifications for a physician’s license if not corrected.  The California Medical Board recognizes the potential for stress and frustration to present in the form of anger outbursts in its Medical Licensee and has adopted the term “Disruptive Physician.”

Of course, doctors aren’t the only healthcare professionals that may be considered to be disruptive or to have anger issues. Any licensed healthcare professional in the state of California may face similar allegations of unprofessional conduct due to anger management issues. Our law firm represents healthcare professionals facing complaints of misconduct throughout California, including those related to anger management.

How Anger Management Complaints May Arise

There is a tendency for many physicians and other healthcare professionals to believe that when it comes to licensing, the only thing that matters is their conduct while at work. Unfortunately, this is a false assumption. The Medical Board of California (MBC) and other licensing bodies can and do consider a licensee’s behavior outside of work.

For example, if a doctor is in an unhealthy relationship with their partner and is arrested or charged with domestic violence, that may result in a report to the MBC. Under California law, a conviction for a crime “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee” may be considered unprofessional conduct. However, the Board can take action even if there is no conviction and the case is dismissed. An arrest and/or conviction for domestic violence will likely be referred to the MBC, which could lead to the filing of an Accusation. Without the assistance of an experienced, compassionate healthcare license defense attorney, this matter could result in severe consequences, up to and including the revocation of the doctor’s medical license.

Defending Physicians and Healthcare Professionals from Allegations of Misconduct

A complaint about disruptive conduct can have an incredibly negative impact on a healthcare professional’s career. If you are facing this type of allegation, it is vital that you consult with an experienced healthcare licensing defense attorney as soon as possible. You should consult a licensing attorney before speaking with a Board investigator, the police, or any other governmental authority.

We are experienced in defending physicians before their Medical Licensing Board as well as in the criminal courts when their stress manifests into drinking and/or anger erupting at home resulting in a domestic dispute/violence and/or DUI. These types of actions can lead to an arrest, criminal charge, and ultimately criminal conviction. We are also skilled at representing other healthcare professionals before their licensing Boards and in criminal court (if charges have been filed).

If you or a loved one is suffering from such disruptive behavior, there are on-point resources to get help whether it is before or after having to face the Board due to allegations of unprofessional conduct or because of criminal charges of assault or domestic abuse. In fact, the University of California, San Diego offers a program that addresses anger management for healthcare professionals entitled “Managing High Impact Emotions fot Healthcare Professionals”. It is offered at the Physician Assessment and Clinical Education Program (PACE).  Participants receive medical education credits for participation in the program.

Facing Anger Management Allegations? Our Law Firm Can Help.

Working in healthcare can be incredibly stressful – particularly over the past few years, between the pandemic and staffing shortages. If your emotions boil over at work or in your personal life, it may result in a complaint with your licensing Board and/or criminal charges. Our law firm is here for you.

As a physician or a healthcare professional, if your license is threatened because of an Accusation or allegations of unprofessional conduct stemming from anger Issues, domestic violence arrest, and/or conviction, our office can help guide and protect your license. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a San Diego healthcare license defense lawyer, give us a call at 619-237-6130 or fill out our online contact form.