The stakes are very high when a doctor or other medical professional is under investigation. Even if criminal charges are not likely, the accused person’s professional license could wind up suspended or permanently revoked. The damage to the health care provider’s reputation could last the rest of his or her life.
This is why you must be very careful once you learn you are under investigation. Every word or action you take can have major consequences.
First, a health care provider who is arrested should know that he or she may be required to report the arrest to his or her licensing board, or disclose it the next time your license is up for renewal. Failure to disclose an arrest, criminal charges or conviction could itself subject you to disciplinary action, as can the nature of the legal matter.
Let’s say that police and prosecutors are not a factor, but the board sends an investigator who wants you to provide a statement. What do you do? We advise declining an interview, even if you are convinced you did nothing wrong. Instead, explain that you wish to speak to an attorney first, and that the lawyer will help you prepare an official statement on the matter.
Finally, it may be best not to say anything when your employer confronts you with accusations. Your manager may say that your conversation is confidential, but certain statements you might make may require your employer to report you to a state agency.
The right legal representation can help you defend your license and avoid mistakes.