Our appreciation goes out to all healthcare professionals on the front line and our sincerest thoughts are with our community both locally and afar. During these unprecedented times, The Law Office of Nicole Irmer, as an essential business, remains open and available to help. If you need assistance maintaining or applying for a professional license, of if you have been contacted by a Board or DCA investigator, please do not hesitate to contact us at (619) 237-6130.

California Medical License Defense Attorney

Defending The Interests Of Physicians Facing Disciplinary Action

The Medical Board of California (MBC) takes allegations of misconduct against physicians seriously, and you need an experienced and respected medical license defense attorney protecting your license and your rights. The Medical Board of California monitors and regulates licensed Physicians, Surgeons, Psychiatrists, Physician’s Assistants, Podiatrists, and other Health Care Professionals. The Medical Board’s established Complaint/Enforcement Unit investigates reported and alleged criminal and administrative violations. Like the Medical Board of California, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California is responsible for monitoring and regulating the practice of licensed Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. The Osteopathic Medical Board has its own established Enforcement Unit to investigate reported criminal and administrative violations.

An investigation and/or disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California (MBC) can threaten a physician’s medical license and career. During the investigative stage, an experienced medical license defense attorney can assist the physician by responding to an inquiry from the MBC. This response may be in writing and/or in person during an investigative interview. With experienced defense counsel an effective response may result in the MBC’s Complaint Unit closing the investigation without a formal Accusation. The financial and emotional costs of a formal Accusation can be overwhelming, and can tarnish a career given that the Accusation and charges of the Physician’s violations are publicly available because disciplinary actions are posted to the MBC’s website, published in the quarterly newsletter, and accessible through the online look-up system Breeze. Even if the allegations are later disproven, the damaging affect may linger. It is important to retain an experienced medical license defense attorney early. At the Law Office of Nicole Irmer, we understand the complexities of defending a Physician’s license. Whether your licensing problem arises from a criminal matter, an Accusation filed by the MBC, or an ethics complaint we can assist you in protecting your medical license.

Our office is experienced defending Physicians facing disciplinary action(s) due to the following allegation:

Physicians are required to report to the Medical Board Central Complaint Unit when charged with a felony offense in an indictment or information, or if convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense (Cal. Bus. & Pro 802.1).  This report must be made within 30 days of the date of the bringing of the indictment or information or of the conviction.  A Board investigator will follow-up in writing requesting additional information if necessary and/or may request an interview.  Peer Review reports are required to be disclosed to the Board in certain circumstances.

Medical License Defense Designed With A Comprehensive Approach

At the Law Office of Nicole Irmer we evaluate the best course of action for the medical doctor by examining your circumstances and taking a proactive, understanding approach. As experienced medical license defense attorneys, we represent Physicians at all phases of the Disciplinary Proceedings including: Investigative process, Issuance of Investigative Subpoena Application for Licensure, Denial of Licensure, after the filing of the Statement of Issues, after an Investigation commences, after the filing of an Accusation, and during Contested Hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings. At the Law Office of Nicole Irmer, we also assist Physicians with Petitions of Reinstatement of Licenses which have been previously surrendered or revoked. We pride ourselves on taking a comprehensive strategy to defend the Physician’s license.

Depending on the Physician’s circumstance, the defense strategy may include:

  • Requesting a meeting with the Board’s investigator and/or Deputy Attorney General to present evidence to either refute the allegation that misconduct occurred or mitigate the degree of discipline;
  • Retaining appropriate experts in the issues at hand;
  • Retaining a defense investigator to interview any witnesses, issue subpoenas of relevant records, secure computer meta data, evaluate the scene or evidence;
  • Developing a rehabilitation plan if chemical dependency is at issue. This may include a psychological evaluation and chemical testing to rule out chemical dependency; or if necessary recommend professional counseling to address any substance abuse issues, which ultimately may mitigate allegations with the Board.  As of 2008, the legislature ended the Board’s diversion program due to the position that it failed to adequately protect the public;
  • Creating a mental and emotional rehabilitation strategy. Sometimes in our lives we suffer tragic loss, instances of domestic violence, situational depression, or even just go through an extended period of immense stress. In these instances, a professional is not in need of discipline by their Board, they need a referral or recommendation to see an experienced therapist where they can grieve, better understand their emotional state, and create a strategy to regain and maintain their emotional well-being;
  • Assisting the professional with the gathering the necessary mitigation documents to support a rehabilitation package and/or prepare for hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Potential Disciplinary Outcomes From The Medical Board Of California

  • An investigation with or without a letter stating that the matter had been closed, but will remain in file for three years – not considered formal discipline.
  • A Citation with or without a fine.
  • An Accusation filed by the Medical Board of California. This is a legal filing that will be made public via the Board’s website.
  • A Public Reprimand or Reproval. A type of discipline issued by the Board for minor infractions. Reprovals, generally, do not restrict one’s License.
  • License Probation. A period of time whereby a Licensee is subject to restrictions by the Board. The Licensee is allowed to continue to practice his/her profession with a conditional license and will be subjected to the limitations mandated to him/her by the Board.
  • License Revocation. A licensee will no longer be able to practice medicine, and their California Medical License will be revoked. If your license has been revoked, you may petition the Board for Reinstatement of your Medical License after a specified period of time.

California Medical License Defense FAQs

Can I Represent Myself Before the Board?

You can represent yourself before the Medical Board of California (MBC) or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC). However, doing so is rarely in your best interests. Under California law, you have a right to be represented by an attorney throughout the investigation and disciplinary process.

Board investigations are a formal process that often culminates in disciplinary action, which may include being put on probation or having your license suspended or revoked. In some cases, an investigation may even lead to criminal charges. Legal representation can be crucial to protecting your license and your freedom.

The mission of the MBC and the OMBC, in part, is to protect the public and to promote the highest standards in the practice of medicine. While members of the administrative board may be your peers, they are not your friends. During investigations and disciplinary proceedings, their goals generally do not align with yours.

Medical licensing boards and licensees are governed by a complex set of laws and regulations. For example, if you receive a request for records from the MBC, you must respond within 15 days, or face steep fines. A skilled medical license defense attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring that you comply with these rules and advocating for your best interests. 

What Should I Do If I’m Under Investigation?

If you learn that you are under investigation by the MBC or OMBC, you should consult with a medical license defense lawyer to evaluate the best strategy for your matter. If an investigator from the Board reaches out,  you should politely refuse to speak to them until your attorney can be present.

As tempting as it may be, do not contact the Board to try to explain the situation. Anything that you say to the Board or its investigators could be used against you in an enforcement proceeding or a criminal prosecution. Similarly, do not submit anything to the Board without consulting with your attorney first; these documents may also be used against you.

While it can be difficult when you are under the stress of an investigation, avoid talking to your colleagues about the issue. The statements that you make to friends and coworkers could also potentially be used against you. In contrast, what you say to your lawyer is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Can I Get My Medical License Back After Disciplinary Action?

If you were disciplined by the MBC or the OMBC, you may be able to request relief. California’s Business and Professions Code allows licensees to petition the Board for reinstatement after their license was surrendered, revoked, or suspended. Licensees may also the Board to modify or terminate probation.

A petition for reinstatement, or to modify or terminate probation, cannot be filed until after a set period of time has passed, which is based on the penalty imposed:

  • License surrendered or revoked for unprofessional conduct: at least 3 years. If a licensee can demonstrate good cause, the board may permit a petition for reinstatement in a revocation order.
  • Probation of 3 years or more: at least 2 years for early termination.
  • License surrendered or revoked for mental or physical illness: at least 1 year.
  • Probation: at least 1 year for modification of a condition.
  • Probation of under 3 years: at least 1 year for early termination.

The petition may be heard by a panel of the Board, or by an administrative law judge (ALJ). The decision of the panel or the ALJ will take into account a number of factors, including the individual’s activities since the disciplinary action was taken, their rehabilitative efforts, and professional ability. No petition will be considered while an individual is under a sentence or on probation for a criminal offense or while an accusation or petition to revoke probation is pending.

An experienced medical license defense attorney can help you with the process of getting your license back or getting off of probation. If you are currently under investigation by the Board, then a lawyer can work with you to attempt to avoid the imposition of discipline in the first place.

California Medical License Defense Attorney Protecting Your Physician License with the Medical Board

At the Law Office of Nicole Irmer, we defend medical professionals at every stage of a disciplinary proceeding throughout California. Over the course of her seventeen-year long career, Ms. Irmer has defended medical professionals and has helped them obtain or maintain their license.

A MBC investigator is a law enforcement officer, they have the authority to forward a matter for administrative discipline or criminal action. If you are contacted by a MBC Investigator, please contact our office immediately at (619) 237-6130 to discuss your matter with an experienced medical licensing defense attorney to understand the process, your exposure, and the steps necessary to protect your interests.

Review

Nicole & her team were very professional, quick to respond, efficient & thorough with everything. Communication was easy and they work hard to get the best outcome for you. I appreciate all of the help & guidance in protecting my medical license.

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