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As a doctor, you have put in many years of study and long hours as a resident to get where you are today. Unfortunately, should a complaint be lodged against you from a disgruntled patient, colleague, employee, or even a spouse, you may suddenly find your career is in jeopardy. Once you come under investigation from the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, anything could potentially happen regarding your ability to keep your medical license. When these investigations take place, anything and everything about both your personal and professional lives will be looked at by investigators. Since these investigations can focus on potentially embarrassing aspects of your life, it is crucial you work closely with lawyers who specialize in handling such cases. By doing so, you give yourself the chance of coming through the investigation still possessing your medical license and personal and professional reputation.
What is Considered to be Medical Misconduct?
In New York, there are many different things that are considered to be medical misconduct and thus open to investigation by the OPMC. Two of the most common are fraudulent obtaining of your medical license or practicing beyond your license, meaning you are performing medical procedures for which you are not properly trained and authorized to do so under New York law. When these allegations are levied against you, take them very seriously. If you fail to do so and simply think they will go away, you will be in for a rude awakening. As for other examples of medical misconduct, these can include practicing while impaired by drugs or alcohol, filing false reports, receiving kickbacks for patient referrals, writing illegal prescriptions, being negligent and careless when providing patient care, and many other areas as well.
Should I Handle an Investigation Alone?
Absolutely not. Once you are placed under investigation by the OPMC, you should never try to navigate this situation on your own. Since investigators for this agency are trained to examine all aspects of the allegations made against you, they will use various techniques to find out what may or may not be going on. In fact, most physicians placed under investigation by the OPMC do not realize that all aspects of their lives may be examined along the way. This can include everything from the people you associate with and activities you participate in to having investigators asking very personal questions about your marriage and family life. Since giving the wrong answer or conveying more information than is necessary can put your medical license in peril, always seek expert legal guidance from experienced and knowledgeable NY physician license defense lawyers.
What About Workplace Allegations?
If you are a physician who owns your practice, you may also find OPMC investigators looking into allegations involving employment practices. These can include allegations made against you regarding sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, or other allegations. Despite what you may believe, the OPMC has full authority to investigate these claims made against you, and will ultimately have the ability to decide whether or not you will be able to keep your medical license. Since these cases can be very complex and involve testimony from numerous individuals, always make sure you have experienced legal representation guiding you each step of the way. Otherwise, a practice you have worked to develop over many years may suddenly be taken from you, essentially ruining your professional life.
In some instances where negligence, financial issues, or medical malpractice may be alleged, these can often involve possible criminal charges being levied against you as well as the possibility of losing your license. When this takes place, the OPMC will not be the only agency you will need to worry about. Depending on what has been alleged, you may also be dealing with investigators from the FBI, DEA, Inspector General, or the District Attorney’s Office. Once this begins, you may have the additional worry of a criminal conviction that could lead to fines or even a jail or prison sentence. In these situations, investigators from the OPMC and other agencies will use intimidation tactics and other methods in an effort to find you guilty. Rather than sit back and allow fear to guide your thinking, turn to NY physician license defense lawyers for help. Once you do, you can be sure your rights to a fair hearing, speedy trial, discovery process, and even your right to have legal counsel throughout the investigation are protected.
Due to the many complexities that are always involved in cases such as these, never simply hire the first lawyer you meet with to handle your case. Instead, schedule a consultation as soon as possible with NY physician license defense lawyers. Once you do, you can discuss your case in more detail and learn about the various options for your defense.