Medical Board of California License Defense Attorneys
Our professional license defense attorneys understand that your medical license is not just a way to earn your livelihood, it also represents your professional reputation and an integral part of your identity. We recognize the years of hard work, money and time you put in to obtain your medical license and we are dedicated to helping physicians like you defend their medical licenses when facing an Accusation or a potential disciplinary action from the Medical Board of California.
Doctors work under strict oversight and supervision by the Medical Board of California which is forced to investigate any complaints made against practicing physicians. The process begins when the Medical Board of California receives a complaint against a California-licensed physician. The complaint may be filed by a patient, a family member of a patient, a fellow health care practitioner or doctor, a hospital or an insurance company.
Complaints Against Doctors Subject to Medical Board Investigation or Discipline
While the most common complaint is negligence in the care or treatment of a patient, complaints range from:
- Errors in prescribing medication
- Prescribing medication without a required examination
- Prescribing medication to family members or to themselves
- Medical errors resulting in patient injury or death
- Inappropriate or sexual touching of patients
- Exhibiting improper conduct or carrying on a forbidden relationship with patients
- Aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine
- Failing to properly supervise other registered medical professionals in your practice
- Fraudulent billing for healthcare services
- Recordkeeping violations or errors and fraudulent practice
- Practicing medicine while impaired due to substance abuse or addiction
Of course, when a licensed California physician is arrested, charged with and convicted of drunk driving misdemeanors or felonies you may open yourself to disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California. Physicians who are charged with and convicted of felonies relating to possession and use of regulated substances may also face an investigation resulting from these criminal convictions.
The Central Complaint Unit (CCU) of the Medical Board of California reviews these complaints to see if they fall within their jurisdiction. They will determine if the complaint may contain a violation of the Medical Practice Act.
How can we help you defend your California medical license?
Responding to the Central Complaint Unit
The CCU will begin its investigation by requesting and reviewing medical records. The investigators may even call or email you seeking a response to the complaint they have received. If the CCU contacts you and requests a response to the complaint, we can help you draft a response. It is important that even at this early stage, that you are careful in presenting a valid and solid defense in case the matter escalates.
It is important that your response is concise and clear with the objective of refuting the complaint but also presenting evidence that amounts to a viable defense if the complaint escalates into a formal Accusation.
Attending a hearing before the Medical Board of California
While it is not required, you may seek to participate in the investigation and speak directly with the investigator about the complaint. It is important that if you decide to participate in the investigation, you have guidance from a lawyer that specializes in medical license defense so you do not jeopardize your case.
Potential Outcomes of the Medical Board Investigations
If the CCU concludes that the complaint demonstrates minor violations of the professional code the matter will likely result in a fine. However, when the complaint is not for a minor violation, the CCU will send the complaint to a District Office for further investigation or they may refer the complaint to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution.
The District Attorney’s office will investigate the matter and if they determine that you have violated the Medical Practice Act, they will file a formal Accusation and send you a Notice of Accusation. A Notice of Accusation lists down the bare facts of the charges as well as the sections of the law that have been violated.
If you receive a Notice of Accusation, you must file a Notice of Defense. The Notice of Defense alerts the District Attorney and the Medical Board that you are requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge to present facts and evidence to refute the allegations made in the complaint against you. A professional medical license defense attorney can help guide you through this stressful process. If you fail to file a timely Notice of Defense, you will be waiving your right to a hearing and the right to present evidence on your behalf.
Drafting your Notice of Defense
Lawyers would know best what kinds of records or documents would be necessary to disprove or cast doubt on the allegations in the Accusation while presenting your own version of events in the best light. We can help you by giving you a checklist of evidence to gather, helping you in interviewing witnesses or obtaining records and other documents. Our medical license defense attorneys may also help hire industry experts to prove that you acted within the standard of care.
Representing you at the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge
An Accusation puts a medical license on the line and it may have far-ranging consequences on future career opportunities. Any physician facing an investigation and formal Accusation may feel overwhelmed and may not be able to think logically in the moment. They will need the assistance of an experienced and competent medical defense attorney to present the evidence on their behalf in a coherent manner. Our team will present documents and testimony that may disprove the accusation or at least mitigate and reduce the impact of the accusation on the disciplinary action that the Medical Board may take.
Preparing you for all possible outcomes of your licensing case
An Administrative Law Judge may find you at fault for the violations lodged against you in the complaint. In the event that this happens the Judge may then recommend:
- Public reprimand by the Medical Board;
- Probationary period;
- You take educational courses or training;
- Suspension of the license for a period not to exceed a year;
- Revocation of your license.
Appealing or seeking reconsideration of the disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California
The Administrative Law Judge’s decision and recommendation will be reviewed by the Medical Board of California. You are entitled to seek a reconsideration of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision. Or, when the reconsideration is denied, you can appeal in court. The Medical Board will then determine the appropriate disciplinary action based on the recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge.
Seeking a review of the enforcement of the disciplinary action
The Medical Board may find that while you committed some minor violations, due to their nature, no disciplinary action needs be taken. The Medical Board may order mediation between the patient and the doctor so that they can reach a settlement of the dispute.
When there was a violation that did not result in harm to a patient, the Medical Board may issue a letter warning you that a recurrence of similar violations in the future will be merit disciplinary action. Or the Board may issue a letter of reprimand or seek a stipulation from you to correct the errors and violations.
Seeking reinstatement of your Medical Board license
Where the violations are serious or when the violation resulted in patient injury or death, the Medical Board may order your license to be suspended or have probationary restrictions placed on your license, or in the most severe cases, order the revocation of your license.
When a license is suspended, placed on probation or revoked, you may seek reinstatement of the license. When seeking reinstatement of a suspended or revoked license, it will be necessary for you to present evidence of good conduct. If you are disciplined for substance or alcohol abuse, we can present evidence of rehabilitation.
In the event of your request for reinstatement being denied by the Medical Board, you may seek a hearing before an administrative law judge. You then must present compelling evidence before an Administrative Law Judge of why you are eligible for reinstatement.
You must file a Petition for Penalty Relief, a letter explaining the facts and circumstances of the violation, the steps you have taken to rehabilitate yourself, how you have been earning a livelihood since the time of the probation, suspension or revocation of your license, and how you have turned your life around. We can help you prove that reinstating your medical license will be a benefit to you and to our community at large.
If you seek reinstatement, you must also submit letters of recommendation from other licensed medical professionals in good standing who know the details of the misconduct that led to your license disciplinary process. If you have taken steps to further your medical education through courses or training, it is also beneficial to submit proof of that.
If you are struggling to obtain your Medical Board License or if you are licensed and facing an accusation or potential disciplinary action from the Medical Board of California, do not wait to consult with a licensing attorney who knows the ins and outs of the disciplinary process. This is your livelihood and your reputation, and you need the steady hand and guidance of a Medical License defense attorney every step of the way to better your chances of saving your license.