It takes years of schooling to even be eligible for the tests required to secure a state license to practice medicine. People invest tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in their education and then must continuously meet the very strict standards established by the New York State Department of Education.
Unfortunately, there is never any guarantee that someone who obtains a license after finishing their education will be able to continue a medical career indefinitely. A small but unignorable portion of medical professionals eventually lose their license to practice medicine, and experience which effectively forces them out of their chosen profession.
What scenarios might lead to someone losing their license to practice medicine in New York?
Gross negligence and major failures on the job
Sometimes, it will be a complaint from a patient or a report from a coworker to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct that puts someone at risk of losing their medical license. When people believe that a healthcare professional did something truly negligent or significantly deviated from best standards at their facility or for their specialization, those allegations could impact someone’s license.
Substance abuse issues
Both accusations made by a person and criminal charges related to substance abuse can affect someone’s medical career. Claims that a doctor has written themselves a prescription could cost them their license, as could impaired driving offenses or criminal charges related to the possession of prohibited drugs. Serious substance abuse concerns impact an individual’s ability to perform their job safely and could therefore result in the loss of their license.
Any serious criminal charge
In New York, any felony conviction could be enough to cost a physician their medical license, even if the allegations against them have nothing to do with their job and will not result in any significant time away from their employment.
The way that a physician responds to criminal allegations can therefore have a major impact on their professional future. Even if the threat to someone’s license does not relate to a criminal charge, they likely still have an opportunity to defend themselves. Having a lawyer present to assist during disciplinary hearings can benefit medical professionals who are potentially at risk of losing their licenses because of accusations made against them.