The South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners has an important job – to regulate the practice of medicine in the state. The board receives numerous reports of malpractice and neglect that it has to address adequately. Often, such reports will not be indicative of a physician’s skills or competence. To face the board, a doctor or another healthcare employee will need the assistance of an experienced medical physician license defense attorney.
The Michael Jeffcoat Firm has extensive experience in the field of MD license defense and physician assistant license defense. Based on the many years of practice in the field, we know what it takes to craft a defense strategy that will either negate the allegations or reduce the severity of the disciplinary action.[toc]
South Carolina MD License Defense: Potential Charges and Complaints
Whether we have to deal with an osteopathic physician license defense or a respiratory care practitioner license defense, we are used to pretty much the same allegations. Reports about professional misconduct may be submitted by patients, the families of patients, medical facility co-workers and employers.
The South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners regulates the practices of physicians, medical assistants, acupuncturists and other medical professional assistants. Typically, charges and complaints will focus on several types of conduct and violations:
- Medical negligence pertaining to the treatment of patients
- Practicing under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Criminal conduct
- Sexual misconduct and harassment, either towards patients or towards coworkers
- Violations pertaining to medications
- Practicing out of the boundaries of one’s medical license
- Errors and omissions in the maintenance of patient records
- Unlawful billing practices for the purpose of individual gains
- Patient abuse, mistreatment, and violation of professional or ethical boundaries
Some of these violations are open to interpretation, thus a medical professional who is not guilty of inappropriate conduct may still be reported. Understand that allegations do not mean disciplinary actions or the end of a career. An experienced medical physician defense lawyer will come up with an effective strategy based on the specifics of the case.
A South Carolina license defense lawyer will also prepare their client for the potential consequences of the allegation. Depending on the evidence gathered during the investigation, the Board of Medical Examiners may impose disciplinary action against the physician. A few common types of disciplinary actions include:
- Public reprimand
- License suspension
- License revocation
- A referral to the RPP program in the case of alcoholism or substance abuse
The Investigative Professional License Defense Process in South Carolina
Everyone practicing in the medical field may sooner or later have to face the Board of Medical Examiners. Physician assistant license defense professionals know what it takes to craft a good strategy. They will also acquaint a client with the most important steps that will be a part of the process.
After an allegation is made, the Board of Medical Examiners will launch an investigation. An investigator will be appointed to the case and this individual will be responsible for contacting the physician or medical assistant in question.
Before responding to the investigator, it is of utmost importance to speak to a lawyer. Self-incrimination is a common problem and it will have career-altering consequences. A lawyer will take a look at the accusation and determine what response will serve the best purpose.
Even if the investigator says that a statement is only needed to close the case, it will still be a good idea to talk to a lawyer in advance. Any statement made by a physician or a medical assistant can be used against them and it can lead to disciplinary actions.
What To Expect After a Physicians Assistant or MD License Investigation
After the investigation is completed, a formal complaint may be issued against a doctor. The formal complaint results from the Board’s belief that probable cause exists to believe that professional misconduct has occurred. The formal complaint will be mailed to the physician in question and they will be given a chance to respond. Whenever a respondent fails to answer, judgment by default will occur.
As you can see, the review process can be lengthy and complex. Depending on the outcome of the first steps, a hearing could be scheduled. The hearing will be presided by physicians who are members of the South Carolina Medical Disciplinary Commission. Eventually, the matter will reach the Board of Medical Examiners and a final decision will be made.
Each one of these steps provides a physician with an opportunity to tell their side of the story. The opportunity, however, also comes with risks. A physician who is not guided by an experienced MD license defense lawyer could reveal too much or make a statement that will solidify the allegations and lead to serious disciplinary actions.
Keep in mind that even if a physician is not found guilty of said misconduct, disciplinary action may still be ordered. Navigating through the review process is exceptionally challenging, which is why legal support will be required during every step of the way.
We Can Help You Keep Your Medical License
A mistreatment or neglect allegation should never be taken lightly. Such a report, even if false, could potentially end the promising career of a South Carolina physician.
Whether you suspect that someone will file a report against you or if a complaint has already been filed, you will need to contact an SC MD license defense attorney. Luckily, The Michael Jeffcoat firm has extensive experience in the field and we have helped numerous physicians and medical assistants through the years.
The Michael Jeffcoat Firm is a criminal defense practice in South Carolina that has a client-centered approach towards defense. We believe in the importance of investigating the case thoroughly and understanding the specifics of the allegation. The Board of Medical Examiners reviews can potentially terminate the careers of doctors, which is why such cases will never be taken lightly.
Please do not hesitate to contact The Michael Jeffcoat Firm today or visit our website’s contact section to schedule a free initial consultation today. Even if you think that the allegations are minor and unimportant, talk with a MD license defense lawyer in South Carolina will give you a better idea about the potential consequences.