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What unprofessional conduct can lead to disciplinary action?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2023 | HEALTH & HEALTH CARE LAW - Health & Health Care Law |

Medical professionals across the country must uphold specific standards of care and conduct. Doing so is essential to the medical industry to protect its integrity when providing patient care. Medical boards exist to help manage and regulate physicians after they receive their licenses.

The process is typically the same across the United States. Each state board follows stringent procedures when tackling varying concerns involving medical practitioners, including incidents of unprofessional conduct. The board receives these incidents to protect the public from potential harm. It must also determine the appropriate disciplinary actions based on the investigation results.

However, the incident must fall under the Medical Practice Act’s definition of unprofessional conduct. It could vary from state to state but usually includes the following:

  • Abuse of any substances
  • Patient neglect
  • Failure to achieve an acceptable standard of care
  • Sexual violations
  • Improper drug prescription
  • Any forms of dishonesty at any time during the license application procedure
  • Felony convictions
  • Incidents of fraud
  • Inaccurate or insufficient record-keeping practices
  • Incapacity to keep up with meeting medical education standards

These examples could harm the public, making disciplinary action necessary. They could happen in the form of board orders that indicate what sanctions are appropriate in proportion to the violations.

These punishments could include fines, license restrictions, revocations, probation and reprimands. Still, each complaint must undergo due process used by the state medical board.

Upholding the rights of physicians during the process

The board’s due process exists to determine whether the medical professional is guilty. The board must follow guidelines and principles to avoid unfair or unreasonable treatment. However, it could take specific measures, depending on the circumstances. Some situations might require an emergency suspension if deemed appropriate based on the violation committed by the medical professional. Still, the board must protect the suspect’s rights throughout the process.