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Protecting your medical license

Obtaining a license to practice medicine is a long and arduous process. You can vouch for the fact that years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars went into preparing you for the title of doctor and the responsibilities and rewards that accompany it.

Whether you have only recently become a licensed physician or you have been practicing for years, you have likely planned that you would be a doctor for the rest of your life, building a solid, well-respected practice and retiring comfortably in your old age. One critical thing that could wreck that dream for you is losing your license.

Easier to lose than it is to gain

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine granted your medical license after you completed the qualifying process -- including education, training and testing. To keep your license, you must continue your education and work within the regulations of your license. Because licensing boards exist to protect patients from harm, they have the right to revoke the license of anyone whose unprofessional behavior places patients at risk, for example:

  • Working while impaired by alcohol or having a substance abuse problem
  • Prescribing medications -- particularly narcotics -- outside your specialty or geographic area of practice
  • Assuming the identity of another physician for unprofessional or inappropriate reasons
  • Helping a patient commit suicide in any states where this practice is illegal, including Pennsylvania
  • Committing malpractice that leads to the injury or death of a patient

These are a few of the reasons why the board may investigate, suspend or revoke your license, or otherwise impose a discipline on you. In many cases, the board may issue warnings before taking more serious action, but even these warnings can have a negative effect on your work and your reputation.

Far-reaching consequences

Losing your license to practice medicine in one state may make it next to impossible to obtain a license in another state since a board investigation would certainly reveal your previous record. This may leave you with few options for putting your years of work and study to good and profitable use.

If you are faced with accusations of misconduct or unethical behavior that threatens to end your career, you will not want to leave your future to chance. You have the right to legal counsel during any meetings with the board or during disciplinary hearings. Having an experienced advocate may improve the chances of keeping your license and avoiding blemishes on your professional record.

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If you are a licensed nurse, doctor, dentist, pharmacist or any other professional in Pennsylvania, call The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn for help. Based in Philadelphia, our attorneys have decades of experience in the fields of professional license defense, criminal defense and family law.

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