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What can cause you to lose your medical license in California?

Physicians often wonder what type of behaviors can result in them being disciplined by the Medical Board of California. There are a few common reasons this might occur.

A doctor that has been accused of gross negligence may risk losing his or her medical license. A single incident of negligence is often referred to as simple negligence. However, a repeated history of these types of offenses is referred to as gross negligence.

Gross negligence occurs when a doctor decides to unilaterally take action that deviates from acceptable, established approaches that another physician would take in the same situation.

One example of grossly negligent behavior a doctor may engage in includes not taking time to evaluate the patient to pinpoint symptoms he or she is experiencing or failing to recognize obvious ones. Another example involves a doctor failing to order necessary diagnostic testing necessary in order to gain a better understanding of the ailment the patient is suffering from.

Instances in which a doctor fails to refer patients to another physician, who may have more specialized expertise in treating a particular condition, may also be considered gross negligence. The same holds true for a doctor that refuses to offer a patient treatment that is most effective or widely accepted.

Another case in which a doctor may have disciplinary action taken against him or her by the board is if it's determined that the physician is somehow incompetent. In order to be considered as such, it would need to be clear that he or she lacks the necessary expertise or training to properly identify and treat a patient's medical ailments as another medical professional might.

Other reasons a physician may have disciplinary actions filed against him or her is if he or she is convicted of a serious criminal offense, if he or she engages in sexual misconduct or if he or she suffers from substance abuse issues. He or she may be disciplined if he or she illegally prescribes drugs, allows someone else that he or she knows to be unlicensed to practice medicine or if he or she engages in filing fraudulent insurance claims.

If your medical license is in jeopardy because you've been accused of not giving your patients a certain standard of care or for some other type of impropriety, a Los Angeles administrative law attorney can help.

Source: Medical Board of California, "Medical Board of California: Information and services for consumers," accessed Sep. 20, 2017

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