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Is your medical license suspended? Try these steps to recover

Losing your medical license -- even temporarily due to a suspension -- is a hard blow. No matter how you got in this position, it seems painfully unfair to have spent the greater part of your life studying and working toward a career that you can't currently practice.

However, how you respond to adversity is a true testament to your character. When it comes time to face the Medical Board again, you want to be able to hold your head up high and show the board that you're handling the issue well. Here are some suggestions on what to do now:

Does failing to pay child support affect a professional license?

If you're behind on your child support in California, you can be subject to a number of punitive measures -- including the loss of your professional license.

This is true even if your children are now grown and your debt is actually to the state -- which can happen if you were unable to pay the support while your children were minors and the state stepped in to provide them with some form of public assistance.

Do you understand the meaning of 'professional misconduct'?

"Professional misconduct" is a term that gets thrown around a lot by licensing authorities -- but exactly what does that mean?

It's sometimes hard to say. Even human resource managers don't always have a clear grasp on what exactly is meant by the term. It gets even more difficult when terms like "minor misconduct" and "gross misconduct" get tossed into the mix.

Bad personal acts cost many teachers their professional licenses

One moment of bad judgment in your personal life can end up destroying your professional career as well -- especially if you're a teacher.

Not every wrong act committed by a teacher ends up being reported to the state authority in charge of licensing -- but when one does get reported, teachers often eventually face a hearing and the eventual loss of their teaching credentials within the state.

Can you get accommodations in law school for a learning disorder?

You don't have to let processing disorders and learning disabilities stop you from achieving your dreams of being a lawyer. Testing accommodations can help you manage your condition.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), schools that take federal financial aid cannot discriminate against students with certain learning disabilities. In addition, the 1973 Rehabilitation Act grants accommodations, within reason, to the disabled.

Facing charges of legal malpractice

When you learn that one of your clients has filed a lawsuit against you for malpractice, you may suddenly feel your confidence plummet. You will likely go through every step of the case in your mind — the preparation, the presentation of evidence, the many objections — and wonder where you may have made a critical error.

No matter how long you have been practicing law, you understand that you cannot win every case. As much as you give to a client's best interests, there is still a chance that the other side will win, and this may mean terrible consequences for your client. However, it does not necessarily mean you have committed legal malpractice.

What could your background check reveal?

If you're applying for a professional license of any sort in California, you'll be asked to consent to a background check. That can be nerve-wracking -- especially if you aren't even sure what a background check does.

While the depth of one background check can vary from another -- some only go back a few years and some go back as far as the records will take the investigators -- you can generally expect the following information to be revealed:

  • Your past residences
  • Your educational history
  • Your employment history
  • A credit check
  • The record of any bankruptcies, up to 10 years prior to the current date
  • A review of your driving history, including any violations
  • Any criminal records, excluding those that have been expunged

Can your medical license survive a drunk driving conviction?

If you've never been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) before, you might be prepared to deal with the loss of your driver's license, but there is another potential consequence that can end up coming as an unpleasant surprise.

You may lose your professional license. If you're a doctor, nurse practitioner, registered nurse or anything else that requires a professional medical license to practice, all that time you've dedicated to your career can be wasted due to a conviction. Almost all licensing boards require you to report a criminal conviction, and medical boards are no exception. (Keep in mind that pleading guilty or "no contest" is the same as being convicted under the law.)

Don't let a mental health condition cost you your medical license

Even doctors can develop mental health issues. Depression is a common problem for people who have to face the frailty of the human body every day. Anxiety might kick in after a particularly rough time. Experts say that burnout and even suicide is a problem among the profession.

However, for a profession centered on wellness, those in power to make or break a doctor's career -- the people who control the state licensing board -- can be particularly unforgiving toward doctors with mental illnesses.

Gambling addiction among attorneys

The thought that you had a problem may have crossed your mind before, and you dismissed it because you knew your luck would change. Sometimes your luck did change, and things got better. However, now it seems as if nothing is going your way and no amount of money is enough to satisfy the urge to gamble. You may even be having dark thoughts, and your law practice is starting to suffer.

If your gambling addiction has caused trouble in your law firm, you may have reasonable concerns about your future as an attorney. Perhaps your firm has accused you of taking money from a client's estate or settlement, or your clients are complaining that you are not giving them adequate representation. If you did not believe you had a problem before, you may be convinced of it now.

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Law Office of Zachary D. Wechsler

21515 Hawthorne Blvd., #610
Torrance, CA 90503

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