Dentistry is a collaborative activity. The dentist and the dental hygienist of course work closely together. But patients too play a role in caring for their teeth in between office visits.
But what happens to you as a dental professional if you run into trouble with addiction or criminal charges? Could it be that there is a collaborative solution available to help you through this so you can continue to practice your profession?
The best way to answer that question is by collaborating with an attorney skilled in dental license defense.
Sure, you could try to solve things on your own. Maybe you got a packet in the mail from the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP), asking you to apply to be in that program to address an addiction problem.
There is also a program called the Physicians Health Program that is open to dentists. The PHP offers ways to resolve mental health issues, chemical dependency challenges and other personal issues. As we discussed in our November 5 post last year, medical doctors also participate in this program.
But even if a program is confidential, you don't want to just jump into it without fully weighing the potential consequences for the license that is your livelihood.
This is where a lawyer who is experienced in cases like this can really play a useful role. For example, the PHMP program actually has two different paths within it and it's important to be clear on the terms of each one.
One path is called VRP, for voluntary recovery programs. The other is DMU, for disciplinary monitoring unit. The DMU gets involved in tracking compliance after the board of dentistry imposed probation with certain conditions to be satisfied.
A knowledgeable attorney can help you cut through all of this alphabet soup of programs and agencies and focus on what's best for you and your future.