As a physician, you worked hard to earn your medical license. Unfortunately, an error in judgment or mistake can jeopardize your license – and your ability to earn a living.
The Medical Board of California (MBC) and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC) are tasked with protecting consumers through the licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons. As part of their role, the MBC and the OMBC are responsible for investigating allegations of violations of the Medical Practice Act. If these Boards determine that a violation has been committed, they may impose disciplinary action against the licensee.
At the Law Offices of Nicole Irmer, we advocate for physicians throughout California who are facing disciplinary action for criminal and/or administrative violations. We work collaboratively with our clients to put together the strongest possible defense to the allegations against them – and to protect their interests. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with a Riverside professional license defense attorney.
Disciplinary actions against doctors typically begin with a complaint. These complaints may be 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 charges are filed against a physician.
A complaint may involve one or more allegations of a violation of the Business and Professions Code (BPC). Our office has experience representing doctors in cases involving allegations of:
When the Board receives a complaint, it will begin an investigation through its Central Complaint Unit (CCU). 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 of the same.
As a physician, you may be contacted by a Board investigator at any stage of this process. While it may be tempting to give a statement or to defend yourself, you should not talk to anyone or sign any paperwork until you have had the opportunity to talk to a Riverside medical licensing defense lawyer. Anything that you say to an investigator can be used against you – and may ultimately result in serious disciplinary action. In some cases, statements made to an investigator can also be used in criminal prosecution.
At this stage, your attorney may be able to intervene with the Board and request a lower level of sanction. This may include a public reprimand and/or a fine and citation. Otherwise, the Board will forward the matter to the Office of the Attorney General for review and preparation of a formal Accusation.
After an Accusation has been filed, your lawyer will still work to negotiate a favorable outcome through a stipulated settlement. If you cannot reach an agreement with the Board, then you can dispute the charge at a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). After the hearing, the 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, probation, suspension, or even revocation of a medical license. The Board typically imposes 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. Under a relatively new modification of the law, the Board can also seek recovery of the costs associated with investigation and enforcement.
Receiving notice that you are under investigation by the MBC or OMBC can be incredibly stressful. However, it is possible to defend yourself against these allegations – and to protect your medical license. Consulting with a Riverside medical licensing defense attorney early in the process can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
The Law Office of Nicole Irmer offers a multi-faceted approach to medical license defense. We understand that even the most conscientious physicians can make mistakes, and work hard to help our clients resolve their disciplinary matters in a favorable manner. Depending on the situation, our legal team may:
In many cases, it is possible to resolve the disciplinary action with a stipulated settlement. In other situations, the best course of action may be to go to a hearing to defend yourself against the allegations. Our Riverside professional license defense attorneys will listen to your story with compassion, investigate the allegations against you, and advise you of your options and likely outcomes. Working together with you, we will advocate with the Medical Board, negotiate a settlement, or take the case to a hearing.
There are few things that are more stressful than facing a potential loss of your ability to practice medicine. If you are under investigation by the MBC or the OMBC, don’t hesitate to call our law firm. We will work with you to put together a comprehensive defense to the charges against you – and help you secure a favorable outcome.
The Law Offices of Nicole Irmer represent physicians and surgeons throughout California. We offer a compassionate, skilled defense of doctors who are dealing with licensing issues. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a Riverside medical licensing defense lawyer, give us a call at (619) 237-6130 or fill out our online contact form.