The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Story poses questions about licensing board's discretionary power

For those who might question how much discretion rests with a medical licensing board, a recent story provides a stark example.

The professional in question is a New York dentist who was convicted of possession of a forged instrument. In New York, the state Department of Education oversees licensing. A spokesperson for that agency confirmed that all criminal convictions constitute professional misconduct. However, no disciplinary actions have yet been taken against the dentist.

A spokesperson for the licensing authority deflected specific questions about the apparent discrepancy, citing confidentiality. The spokesperson also noted that the agency affords due process rights to a professional accused of misconduct before taking any disciplinary actions. Finally, the spokesperson observed that the agency was not subject to a deadline for its investigations.

In Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs is the agency is that provides legal and administrative support to various state licensing boards and commissions. The licensing board that protects the health and safety of the public from fraudulent or unethical dentists is the State Board of Dentistry. Yet the analogy to the New York entity is clear: licensing authorities generally have discretionary powers, while being bound by due process.

If a dentist comes under investigation, he or she must be prepared to present or respond to evidence at the administrative hearing. Although not every investigation may progress to a hearing, it is important to consult with an attorney. It goes without saying that an investigation should be viewed as a very real threat to a dentist’s occupation and professional license. Yet even the investigation itself might seriously undermine a dentist’s credibility. An attorney can provide the appropriate response to an investigation.

Source: Daily Freeman, “Kingston dentist Nunez still has license to practice despite two felony convictions,” Patricia Doxsey, Sept. 29, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn
1420 Walnut Street
Suite 1200
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Toll Free: 866-657-7318
Phone: 215-268-7241
Fax: 215-557-0087
Map & Directions

Review Us