Osteopathic Medical License Defense Lawyer

The Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC) regulates the practice of osteopathic medicine in California. Along with its licensure duties, the OMBC also investigates allegations of misconduct against osteopathic physicians. If you are facing disciplinary action by the OMBC, you will need an experienced license defense lawyer to protect your interests.

An investigation and/or disciplinary action against Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) can jeopardize a physician’s medical license – and their career. An experienced osteopath license defense attorney will advocate for your rights throughout the process, from responding to an inquiry from the OMBC to putting together a strong defense to any complaints against you. An attorney can also work towards a better resolution with the OMBC, whether through a dismissal of the complaint or negotiating a disciplinary outcome.

The Law Office of Nicole Irmer represents osteopathic physicians in all aspects of OMBC disciplinary matters. If you have been notified of a complaint against you, time is of the essence. Reach out to our law firm today to schedule a consultation.

Osteopathic Board License Defense

The OMBC is tasked with protecting consumers and promoting the highest professional standards in the practice of osteopathic medicine. To achieve that goal, the Board is responsible for licensing and regulating Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine throughout the state. Its mission includes the power to investigate complaints and use its enforcement power to ensure that doctors are following the Business and Professions Code/Medical Practice Act.

The OMBC investigates complaints made by consumers, including patients and their families, as well as complaints from coworkers, insurance companies, and law enforcement. Complaints may include violations of the Business and Professions Code (BPC), including:

  • Unprofessional conduct/professional misconduct
  • Excessive prescribing
  • Excessive treatments
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Insurance fraud
  • Gross negligence or repeated negligent acts
  • Incompetence
  • Dishonesty
  • Criminal conviction
  • Drug-related conviction 
  • Violation of drug statutes
  • Furnishing drugs to an addict
  • Prescribing without prior examination
  • Failure to comply with sterilization consent provision
  • Use of silicone 
  • Illegal cancer treatment
  • Making  or signing a false document
  • False medical record
  • Violation of professional confidence
  • Aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine
  • Deceptive advertising
  • Use of “M.D.” or misuse of “D.O.”
  • Discipline by another state or federal agency.

In addition, the OMBC will investigate allegations of mental illness and substance abuse that affects a physician’s ability to practice.

Certain criminal charges can also affect your medical license. This may include charges for sexual battery, domestic violence, driving under the influence (DUI), drug possession, insurance fraud, and/or theft. If you have a pending criminal charge, you may be required to report it to the OMBC. An experienced healthcare license defense attorney can advise you of your rights and best options for self-reporting to the Board.

Once a complaint has been filed, the OMBC will begin an investigation of the allegations. At this stage, an experienced osteopathic license defense attorney can respond to an inquiry from the OMBC in writing or during an investigative interview. With the assistance of counsel, the best possible outcome may be achieved. This may include closing the investigation without formal Accusation.

If a formal accusation is filed against a D.O., then the potential for career damage is high – even if the case does not result in disciplinary action because the accusation is a matter of public record through the Breeze system. For this reason, it is important to consult a skilled legal representation as soon as possible after learning of an investigation or complaint.

You have just 15 days from receiving a notice of citation or formal accusation from the OMBC to file a notice of defense. If you fail to file this notice in a timely fashion, you may not be able to fight back against the charges.

Our law office will get to work immediately to defend your license and your livelihood. If the case proceeds to a formal Accusation, we will attempt to negotiate a favorable stipulated settlement or negotiated agreement. If an administrative hearing is necessary, we will gather evidence and put together the strongest possible defense for you.

Osteopathic Board Disciplinary Actions

Depending on the severity of the charges against you, the OMBC may impose a range of disciplinary actions for a violation of the Business and Professional Code. Potential sanctions may include:

  • Fine
  • Public citation
  • Letter of reprimand 
  • Probation
  • License suspension
  • License revocation

If a dismissal of the complaint is not possible, then the best outcome for a less serious violation may be a fine and public citation. Even for this relatively mild disciplinary action, however, it is important to consult a skilled healthcare license defense attorney.  OMBC fines can be steep and having any record of discipline can make it difficult to find new employment or to maintain a thriving practice.

For more serious violations of the BPC, it is critical to have legal counsel. An attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement for a suspension rather than a license revocation, a stay of revocation, and/or less restrictive probation terms. When your license and livelihood is on the line, don’t hesitate to call a professional license defense attorney.

At the Law Office of Nicole Irmer, we take a proactive approach to defending our clients’ professional licenses. We thoroughly evaluate the charges against our clients to determine the best possible defense. Depending on the facts of the case, our strategy may include:

  • Requesting a meeting with the investigator for the Board, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), or the Attorney General’s office to present evidence to refute the allegation or mitigate the degree of discipline;
  • Working with expert witnesses and investigators;
  • Developing a rehabilitation plan;
  • Gathering evidence to support a rehabilitation package or to show mitigating factors; and
  • Preparing a defense to the charges for an administrative hearing.

In each case, our primary goal is to get the complaint closed without formal discipline. If this is not possible, and if the investigation moves forward to the Accusation stage, then we will work to try to obtain an outcome that will not restrict a physician’s license, such as a public reprimand or reproval. When more serious discipline cannot be avoided, we will work with the OMBC to try to lessen the impact of probation, suspension, or revocation of your license.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Am Facing an OMBC Complaint?

A Board investigation can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. An experienced licensing attorney can provide valuable insight and objective advice. Licensing investigators are not looking out for your best interests. Having an experienced attorney focused on your interests and best possible outcome for you can provide reassurance. While you can represent yourself in an OMBC investigation, it is rarely a good idea in matters similar to yours. Obtaining an osteopathic medical license takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The best way to protect your license – and your ability to earn a living – is by consulting an attorney who is experienced in osteopath license defense matters.

Even if you believe that the complaint against you is frivolous, it could still lead to disciplinary action. 

My Osteopathic License Was Revoked. Can I Get It Reinstated?

The process to get your osteopathic license reinstated is complex, but it is possible. You will be required to prove that you qualify for reinstatement. This is typically done by introducing evidence of rehabilitation establishing that you are unlikely to repeat the offense.

If your osteopathy license has been revoked, our law firm can help you with a petition for reinstatement. Contact the Law Office of Nicole Irmer today to schedule a consultation. 

I Just Learned that I’m Under Investigation by the OMBC. What Should I Do?

The request to interview is incredibly stressful. Many physicians may think that they can make the problem go away if they just explain themselves to the Board, or that by “helping” they can minimize the impact of the allegation. Licensee participation in an investigation is a decision best made after a thorough evaluation of the facts with a licensing attorney familiar with these matters. Keep in mind that anything you say to the Board or its investigators can be used against you – and that your license is on the line. Reach out to the Law Office of Nicole Irmer as soon as possible to talk to a member of our legal team.

How Our Law Firm Can Help

Whether you are facing allegations of unprofessional conduct or any other violation related to your osteopathic license, it is vital that you consult legal representation as soon as possible. Early intervention can often make the difference in the final outcome of the complaint against your license. Our law firm will work to help you achieve the best possible result.

Based in San Diego, the Law Office of Nicole Irmer represents healthcare professionals, including osteopathic physicians, in professional licensing matters. We take a comprehensive approach to license defense, working hard to protect our clients’ best interests. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team, reach out to our law firm at  (619) 237-6130 or fill out our online contact form.