If you are facing disciplinary action as a medical professional and are being accused of medical malpractice, it's essential to understand that these are two very different things. Even if you are facing a malpractice claim, this does not necessarily an indictment of your competence as a physician and does not mean that you have violated the law. However, you must retain a medical license defense attorney when you face potential disciplinary action.
A Malpractice Claim Doesn't Necessarily Indicate Incompetence
Some doctors face more malpractice claims than others. The likelihood of encountering a malpractice claim depends on the area of medicine that the physician practices, the geographic location, and the types of patients that the doctor is likely to treat and has less to do with the competency of a doctor.
When you face a malpractice claim, you will most likely have the claim handled by your malpractice insurance provider. But you have the final say regarding whether the patient can settle with the insurance provider, unlike an auto accident insurance provider.
However, suppose you are defending your medical license. In that case, it's common for a board to use malpractice data to determine whether they should investigate. Some boards automatically investigate a doctor after a certain number of settlements.
How State Medical Boards Work Together
All state medical boards share information to regulate physician licenses. The Physician Data Center has information on all licensed physicians, which comes from state license boards. Even if you move and are licensed to practice medicine in another state, ongoing investigations in another state might still affect your license.
The information that state boards share and medical malpractice settlements in the past can increase the likelihood that you have your license revoked if you are considered a dangerous physician. If you must meet any requirements to continue to practice as a physician, the board will also ensure these requirements are enforced.
How to Defend Your License
Working closely with an attorney specializing in physician license defense is essential to protect your license. By doing so, you can anticipate potential investigations that might jeopardize your license. You will also be able to build a strong case for why you have not violated any rules that should lead to the suspension of your license.
With any board decision, you have the right to file an appeal, and you must exhaust all your legal options to protect your license and source of income. For more information, contact a medical license defense attorney near you.