The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering legislation to make medical marijuana available to residents with certain health conditions. If the bill passes both houses, there is a good chance Gov. Tom Wolf will sign. The bill sets an effective date for 60 days from the governor's signature, but it could be a while before patients will get relief.
A Western Pennsylvania psychiatrist has not only lost his license but is also facing criminal charges. And it all, he claims, started with child support.
Regular readers of our Philadelphia healthcare licensing defense blog know that we habitually caution doctors and others to tread softly when it comes to violating any of the many rules and regulations on which your license depends.
In November and December, we discussed what constitutes unprofessional conduct. The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine has a long list of things a doctor or surgeon can do that will risk his or her license, but we thought we would take a step back and ask a broader question:
A story from New York reminds us of what a delicate balance doctors must maintain. The state has suspended the license of an internist who has practiced medicine for more than 20 years. The reason? She ordered unnecessary tests and treatments.
We are discussing the kinds of activities that the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine considers to be unprofessional conduct. This list includes both self-evident actions ("Do not practice without a license or during a license suspension") and less obvious actions ("Do not impersonate another doctor.")
We are back to our discussion of the difference between unprofessional conduct and Unprofessional Conduct. As we said in our Nov. 11 post, the first is loosely defined as, "You probably shouldn't have done that." The second is defined by the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine.
Medical professionals know what "unprofessional conduct" is. They spend years in school and years at the sides of more experienced practitioners learning not just what to do but how to be a surgeon or a doctor. The ethics of these jobs are pretty much self-evident, rooted in common sense and instinct. We may not be able to quote the exact rules, but we know unprofessional conduct when we see it, whether we are in Pennsylvania or Timbuktu.
Generally, no. Medical malpractice litigation and actions against a physician's license are, for the most part, not related.
Misconduct allegations can impact medical professionals on a very deep level. They have the potential to affect a health care worker's license status, professional reputation and long-term ability to remain in the medical field.