It takes more than a decade of education after high school to secure a medical license when considering the two degrees and internships necessary to practice medicine. In New York, the New York State Medical Board grants licenses to those who have fulfilled educational requirements and who can also pass a comprehensive background check.
Professionals will typically need to commit to continuing education, meaning that they will take specialized courses for as long as they want to maintain their medical licenses. They also need to continue to meet the New York State Medical Board’s standards for ethics and professional behavior. Those who do not meet those standards because of one of the three circumstances below could very well find that their licensing privileges are in jeopardy.
Violations of federal or state laws
Criminal prosecution could result from someone driving poorly or from getting into a fight with their spouse. Not every arrest or conviction will have an impact on someone’s eligibility for a medical license in New York. However, any serious infractions, including those involving violence or substance abuse, could at least trigger a review and possible disciplinary action. The more serious the charges are and the more closely they relate to someone’s work as a physician, the greater the likelihood that their conviction could affect their medical license.
Complaints filed by others
Any individual, from a concerned coworker to a frustrated former patient, can potentially submit a complaint against any licensed medical professional seeking a review of their conduct. Details of the situation, including exactly how someone may have violated medical ethics, will typically be necessary. State authorities will investigate any reasonable and serious claims against a physician and could take punitive actions, including stripping someone of their license, should allegations of professional misconduct prove valid.
A medical professional terminated for cause in New York will very likely find that the loss of their job could impact their licensing as well. Employers in the medical industry have an obligation to report certain types of infractions, including major medical mistakes on the job or misconduct related to prescription medication. Those who face termination due to downsizing or a merger wouldn’t have to worry about board disciplinary action, but anyone terminated for cause related to their performance, particularly if they face allegations of negligence or misconduct, could find that their license is at risk as well as their job.
Just like those accused of a crime can defend against allegations in court, professionals facing disciplinary measures brought by the New York State Medical Board can defend against allegations with the help of a lawyer. Recognizing when a situation might endanger someone’s medical license can help them more effectively respond to their circumstances.