Common Complaints and Infractions That Result in Discipline for Physicians

September 17, 2021
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

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Even the best physicians can face disciplinary proceedings before the Maryland Board of Physicians. Often, these complaints or infractions come as a surprise, and physicians are unaware that these issues can lead to disciplinary measures or even suspension or revocation. After years of school and training, you have worked to leave your license and reputation in someone else’s hands. If you’re facing the possibility of disciplinary proceedings, a Maryland employment attorney can help you navigate the process and get a fair result. 

DUI Charges

Maryland police aggressively enforce our state’s DUI laws which means that anyone could possibly face a DUI charge. Even if this is your first DUI charge and you haven’t yet been convicted, the charge itself could carry consequences for your medical license. 

If you have been charged with a DUI, we recommend that you contact a DUI attorney immediately. There are a number of legal defenses that you may be able to raise that could result in your charge being dropped or reduced, which could result in the dismissal of any disciplinary proceedings. That said, don’t wait for the resolution of your DUI charge before contacting a Maryland employment attorney – the sooner you engage them in your case, the sooner they can help you avoid any negative consequences for your medical license. 

Other Criminal Charges

Both misdemeanor and felony charges can jeopardize your medical license. These charges can include the following: 

  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Embezzlement
  • Tax evasion
  • Extortion
  • Serious traffic offenses
  • Theft
  • Assault and sexual assault

Again, you work with both a criminal defense lawyer as well as a Maryland employment attorney in order to protect your license. Even if you aren’t convicted of whatever charge you are facing, the fact that you were charged could result in discipline. 

Misuse of Drugs or Alcohol

While the misuse of drugs or alcohol can result in a DUI, you can face disciplinary proceedings as a result of drug or alcohol use even if you haven’t been criminally charged. For example, reports of using drugs or alcohol while at work from co-workers can quickly lead to disciplinary proceedings. If you are required to abstain from alcohol or drugs for some reason, failing a drug test can also result in disciplinary proceedings. Because drugs and alcohol can impair a physician’s judgment and ability to practice medicine, the Maryland Board of Physicians takes complaints regarding drugs and alcohol very seriously. Even if you think the complaint is completely without merit, we recommend that you contact a Maryland employment attorney to protect your license and reputation. 

Sexual Misconduct

Complaints concerning sexual misconduct are also taken very seriously by the board. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this would include sexual harassment or sexual assault involving co-workers and patients. However, it can also include the following: 

  • Consensual sexual relationships between a doctor and patient
  • Sexual contact, including inappropriate touching or fondling
  • Erotic behavior such as sexual propositioning, comments, or kissing

Sexual misconduct complaints involving patients can be especially problematic for your license. You could face a sexual misconduct complaint even if the conduct is consensual and initiated by the patient. And given the nature of these complaints, defending yourself can be especially difficult. A Maryland employment attorney can help you formulate the best possible defense against these charges to ensure a fair result. 

Prescription Drug Issues

Many complaints arise from issues related to prescribing medications. These can include: 

  • Diverting drugs to friends or family members
  • Personal use of prescription drugs
  • Prescribing drugs that are not medically necessary
  • Being in possession of stolen medications or a stolen prescription pad

Even a minor prescription drug infraction can jeopardize your license. If you’re facing disciplinary proceedings related to prescription drugs, you should speak with a Maryland employment attorney as soon as possible. 

Providing Substandard Care

Unsatisfied patients will often file complaints with the Board. These complaints can include allegations of medical malpractice as well as “customer service” type issues. Regardless, the Board will investigate these complaints and take them seriously. Even if you believe the complaint is baseless, you could lead to disciplinary action and you should therefore take it seriously. A Maryland employment lawyer can help you deal with the complaint so that you can focus on your practice. 

J.W. Stafford – A Maryland Employment Attorney Protecting Your Medical License 

Disciplinary proceedings can be more than just embarrassing – they can jeopardize your ability to practice medicine and earn a living. At the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, we understand that your future is at stake, which is why we provide tireless representation with a focus on getting the best possible result. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today at 410-514-6099 to schedule a consultation.