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How can I defend my medical license from a misconduct complaint?

Accusations of misconduct can be startling. Administrative hearings and consume your time and energy while you fight to protect your license, reputation and professional career. The stakes can be enormous when you are a doctor. But there is a process to defend yourself before state regulators and fight to keep caring for patients.

The Arizona Medical Board scrutinizes all complaints filed against practicing physicians. Investigators gather information by interviewing the complainant, witnesses or other providers involved in the patient’s care. They also have access to patient records and additional notes you might have given during treatment. And they might ask to interview you.

What are you facing?

A committee reviews the investigation and reports to the 12-member board. Appointed by the governor, they include eight doctors, one nurse and four members of the public. If the board believes a violation occurred, it has the authority to:

  • Recommend to hospital or health care clinic executives that you be fired.
  • Revoke or suspend your medical license.
  • Designate you for continuing medical education courses.
  • File an advisory letter or letter of reprimand in your record.

The board might negotiate an agreement that limits your practice while you undergo retraining and are reassessed. You also have the option to testify before the full board or request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Protect your future

At any point, you can have an attorney represent you during the investigation, review, board appearances and appeals. They can challenge information presented against you and build a counternarrative that might mitigate or discredit the complaint. It is important to strategize and be proactive with your case, which might earn credibility with the licensing board.

Healthcare is a passion for many physicians, a profession not easily surrendered. Knowing your options when facing discipline can make the difference between saving your career and losing everything for which you have worked.