If your conduct is less than professional, all of the hard work, time, long hours and financial resources it took to obtain your professional license could become irrelevant. A conviction of unethical or negligent behavior could result in license suspension or revocation.
According to the American Medical Association, nine Principles of Medical Ethics are the primary focus of the AMA Code. They cover treatments, use of technology, professional relationships, self-regulation and patient/physician interactions. Understanding what constitutes unethical or negligent behavior and maintaining professional decorum is critical for keeping your medical license.
Patients and their families rely on you for quality care and just treatment. Violation of that trust can result in the loss of your medical license. Various acts can prompt an investigation into allegations of unethical behavior, including the following:
- Physical, sexual or verbal abuse
- Discrimination based on religion or race
- Violations of drug and alcohol laws
The Medical Board considers several aspects of the case before passing judgment, including the severity of a charge. A thorough review often encompasses offenses that may not directly pertain to how you complete your professional duties at first glance. This could include reckless driving or driving while impaired charges.
If your behavior resulted in a patient injury, you could face a malpractice claim. Ordinary negligence refers to failure to take certain precautions. Gross negligence cases involve extreme disregard for the safety of others. Medical negligence encompasses a variety of issues. They include misreading or ignoring lab tests, performing unnecessary procedures, wrong-site surgery or surgical errors, and improper medication or dosage.
When unethical or negligent behavior harms a patient, the consequences might be severe. In the event of an investigation, protecting your rights and your license is critical for maintaining your livelihood and reputation.