Study Finds Disciplinary Action Against Physicians Can Vary Greatly from State to State
Although most patients are unaware and oblivious to the workings of a state medical board, physicians understand that each one is self-governed. There is no external entity, no standard guidelines, no real consistency – and that includes the way it handles disciplinary actions. However, one study, recently published in the online version of BMJ Quality and Safety, revealed that the issue is far more confusing and unnerving than most doctors realize.
Severe Consequences Range from One State to Another
Out of 21,647 unique physician misconduct disciplinary actions taken in the United States between January 2010 and December 2014, over 5,000 involved the revocation or suspension of a physician’s license. Overall, this is not an alarming rate (it is, however, a 17 percent increase from 2008), but the rate from one state to the next certainly garnered attention from the study authors. They found that, while one state might only fine a physician for an action, another might completely revoke a physician’s license. Worse yet, their only real recourse is to appeal the decision; there is no governing entity for them to contact.
Disciplinary Action in One State Can Affect You in Others
Despite the lack of a governing entity or any real connection from one state’s medical board to the next, licensing issues and disciplinary actions taken in one state can affect a physician in others. As a result, out-of-state practices and privileges may be suspended or revoked. Alternatively, if a physician attempts to move to another state, they may be unable to obtain a license to practice within that state.
Texas Has a Historically Heavy-Handed Approach
While the study did not find Texas to be on one side of the extreme or another, the state board does have a history of heavy-handed disciplinary actions against physicians. As such, any Texas doctor should be fully prepared and protected, the moment they learn of an investigation. The matter should be handled seriously, and with great care. Also, instead of facing it alone, it is highly recommended that doctors seek assistance from an experienced license defense lawyer – one with working knowledge of the Texas Medical Board and its laws.
Contact Our Texas Medical License Defense Lawyer
Are you facing disciplinary action or an investigation with the Texas Medical Board? Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the firm to call. Backed by nearly 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, our Texas medical license defense lawyer will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome in your case. Learn more about how we can assist with your case by scheduling a free and personalized consultation. Call 512-228-7946 today.