As a medical practitioner, you most likely entered the field to help others, and due to its importance, you are held to the highest ethical and professional standards. However, if something unfortunate occurs or one of your patients makes a complaint against your medical practice, all the good you accomplished may not be taken into account and you can suddenly find the future of your business and your reputation at stake.

The amount of stress medical professionals are under is tremendous. This can lead to tragic mistakes, using illegal drugs to take the edge off, or driving while under the influence. Regrettably, just one instance of illegal or unethical behavior can be enough for a Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine disciplinary proceeding, where your medical license will be put in substantial jeopardy.

If your livelihood is put in danger, it is important to find a legal professional with extensive experience defending the rights of the accused. Protect yourself and speak with a Philadelphia defense attorney with Fienman Defense at (215) 839-9529 to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.

How Does the Disciplinary Process Work for Medical Professionals?

When someone makes a complaint against you to the Department of State’s Bureau of Occupational and Professional Affairs, an investigator from the Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI) will start gathering evidence regarding the allegations. This investigator may come to you with questions. Many professions simply comply with this request with little thought about the possible repercussions. It is critical that you do not talk to this investigator unless you have a lawyer present!

If the BEI investigation shows that there is some truth to the allegations of your misconduct, the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine will act. This agency conducts disciplinary hearings for all medical professionals licensed by the Commonwealth, including:

  • Medical doctors
  • Physician assistants
  • Radiology technicians
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Nurse-midwives
  • Acupuncturists
  • Practitioners of oriental medicine
  • Perfusionists
  • Behavioral specialists
  • Athletic trainers

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine Disciplinary proceeding will begin when you receive an order to show cause, which will alert you to the charges against you and inform you of your rights to respond, question witnesses, present evidence–and to be represented by an attorney.

Importantly, the Board also has the authority to punish you for incidents that occurred in other states. For example, if you originally had a Pennsylvania license, but moved to another state and practiced there, the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine can penalize you for misconduct committed in your new state. Pennsylvania may even sanction you if you were disciplined in the other state, which means you can be punished twice for the same misdeed.

Although your disciplinary hearing is not a criminal trial, it is a formal proceeding whose outcome can be vastly improved if you have a qualified and aggressive advocate by your side.

How Can Fienman Defense Help with My Case?

Depending on the facts of your specific case, your Philadelphia defense attorney can help you navigate the complexities of administrative law to refute the charges against you, present evidence that explains or mitigates the impact of your behavior or negotiate a settlement agreement that does not include the permanent revocation of your medical license.

Your record with the State Board of Medicine is public information and you should make every effort to maintain an untarnished history. Any blemish on your record can restrict your ability to grow–or even maintain–your practice. When you meet with your defense lawyer about a Pennsylvania State Medical board disciplinary hearing, he or she will be able to discuss what strategies are available for achieving an optimal resolution.

You may be tempted to join the Physicians Health Monitoring Program (PHMP), the Physicians Health Program (PHP), the Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP), or the Disciplinary Monitoring Unit (DMU). While these programs do have the potential to help, joining while your administrative case is open may actually diminish your chances of reaching the most favorable possible outcome.

If you’re a doctor or other medical professional and you’ve been served with an order to show cause, you need effective representation that is solely focused on your rights and protecting your career. Call Philadelphia attorney Michael Fienman today at (215) 839-9529 or online for a free and confidential consultation.

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