San Bernardino Medical Licensing Defense Lawyer

To become a physician, you spend years in school and postgraduate training. You also took examinations and continued to educate yourself to stay on top of the latest research and best practices. Unfortunately, an error in judgment may risk both your medical license and your ability to earn a living.

Both the Medical Board of California (MBC) and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC) are responsible for the licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons. This includes investigating allegations of violations of the Medical Practice Act. If a licensing board determines that a doctor has violated the act in some way, it may pursue disciplinary action against a licensee, with consequences ranging from a reprimand to a license revocation.

At the Law Offices of Nicole Irmer, we advocate for physicians throughout San Bernardino County who are seeking licensure or who are facing disciplinary action. We understand that even the most conscientious physicians and surgeons may sometimes make a mistake or go through a difficult period in life. Our goal is to protect our client’s interests and achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with a San Bernardino healthcare license defense attorney.

Understanding Medical License Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary actions may start in one of two ways. Most often, a complaint is filed by a patient, a family member, a colleague, an insurance company, or even a member of the public. In some cases, the complaint process begins when criminal offense charges are filed against a doctor for things like driving under the influence (DUI), drug possession, or domestic violence.

However a complaint arises, it will typically allege one or more violations of the Business and Professions Code (BPC). Our office has experience representing medical professionals in cases involving allegations of:

After the Board receives a complaint, its Central Complaint Unit (CCU) will open an investigation. If the CCU finds that there is sufficient evidence to further investigate the complaint, then the matter will be referred to an investigatory unit within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Otherwise, the complaint will be closed and the licensee will be notified that the complaint against them has been dismissed.

Doctors may be contacted by a Board investigator at any point during this process. Many physicians believe that they can handle these investigations on their own by giving a statement or otherwise explaining themselves. While it may be tempting to talk to an investigator with the hopes of getting the situation resolved, you should not do so without first talking to a San Bernardino medical licensing defense attorney.

Just as in a criminal investigation, anything that you say to the Board investigator can be used against you. In fact, the Board may use your statements as evidence in a disciplinary action against you. In some cases, these statements could be the basis of criminal charges. 

In the early stages of an investigation, your attorney may be able to intervene. By providing mitigating evidence and your own version of what occurred, your lawyer may be able to obtain a lesser sanction (such as a public reprimand or a citation and fine) or a dismissal of the complaint. If the complaint is substantiated, then the Board will forward it to the Office of the Attorney General for review and preparation of a formal Accusation.

After an Accusation has been filed, your lawyer will continue to negotiate with the Board to attempt to reach a more desirable result through a stipulated settlement. However, if you cannot reach an agreement with the Board, then your attorney will present a strong factual and legal defense at an administrative hearing. After the hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) will issue a proposed decision that will be sent to the Board to adopt, modify, or reject the decision.

Depending on the nature and severity of the charges outlined in the Accusation, disciplinary action could include a public reprimand, a citation and fine, probation, suspension, or even revocation of a medical license. The Board may also impose additional conditions on top of disciplinary action, such as a requirement to complete certain medical education courses, submitting to toxicology screenings, or completing psychological evaluations. The Board can also seek recovery of the costs associated with investigation and enforcement.

Board disciplinary action may arise out of a criminal matter or may lead to criminal charges. For this reason, it is important to hire a lawyer who also has experience as a criminal defense attorney. In San Bernardino County, the Law Offices of Nicole Irmer can advise you of your rights and defend you against both Medical Board and criminal complaints.

Defending Against Medical Board Complaints and Accusations

As a physician, getting a notice that you are under investigation by the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California can be devastating. You may worry that your career is over and that you have no hope of protecting your license. But it is possible to defend yourself with the help of a San Bernardino medical licensing defense attorney.

The Law Office of Nicole Irmer offers a proactive, multi-faceted approach to medical license defense. We know that even the most conscientious doctors can make mistakes or struggle with issues like substance abuse disorder. Depending on the facts of the case, our legal team may:

  • Meet with the Board investigatory and/or Deputy Attorney General to present mitigating evidence and/or factual evidence to refute the allegation;
  • Hire expert witnesses to offer their opinion; 
  • Retain a private investigator to dig into the facts of the allegations against you;
  • Develop a rehabilitation plan if substance abuse or mental health issues are at issue; 
  • Gather mitigating evidence to support rehabilitation; and/or
  • Prepare legal and factual arguments for a hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings.

It is often possible to resolve the disciplinary action before an Accusation has been filed or with a stipulated settlement. In other situations, the best course of action may be to defend yourself against the allegations in an administrative hearing. Our San Bernardino medical license defense attorneys will listen to your story, treat you with compassion and understanding, investigate the allegations against you, and advise you of your legal rights, options for handling the case, and likely outcomes. Working collaboratively with you, we will advocate with the Medical Board of California, negotiate a settlement, or take the case to a hearing.

Facing Medical Board Disciplinary Action? Our Law Firm Can Help.

Learning about the possibility of disciplinary action from the Medical Board or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California can be incredibly stressful. You may be rightfully concerned about losing your ability to practice and make a living – or even going to jail. In San Bernardino County, our law firm will defend you against any complaints of unethical, unprofessional, or illegal conduct and help you obtain the best possible outcome.

Based in San Diego, the Law Offices of Nicole Irmer represent physicians and surgeons throughout Southern California. We offer a compassionate, skilled defense of doctors who are trying to get licensed, facing disciplinary action, or seeking reinstatement of their medical license. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a San Bernardino professional license defense attorney, give us a call at (619) 237-6130 or fill out our online contact form.

Related: Palm Springs Medical License Defense Lawyer