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The 'disruptive physician' -- a label that can ruin a career

When does a physician simply have high expectations of other medical professionals and when is he or she "disruptive?"

A disruptive physician is any doctor who doesn't really work well with others. When a physician is purposefully intimidating to others, patients can suffer because good patient care relies on teamwork and communication between professionals in any medical environment.

Fast ways to lose your medical license

When you are a medical provider, the threat of losing your license can loom large in your mind. It's hard not to wonder whether the mistakes you make -- at work or in your private life -- will come back to haunt you.

One of the best ways to keep your professional license safe is to know what sort of things will put it in danger in the first place. Every year, medical professionals lose their ability to practice for the following reasons:

  • Addiction: If you have a drug or alcohol problem, you need to get into a recovery program and get clean. Your addiction can affect your judgment, and that puts patients in danger.
  • Defaulted loans: While it seems counter-productive to take someone's license to practice medicine if they default on their student loans, that's exactly what can happen. If you're having trouble paying your loans, work with the lender to get them deferred so that you don't put your license in danger.
  • Insurance fraud or misrepresentation: Billing codes matter. Maintaining a standard fee schedule for both your insured and uninsured patients is important. Accurate record and chart keeping is critical. Mistakes in any of these areas can cost your license and expose you to criminal liability as well.
  • Boundary violations: You have to maintain a professional relationship with your patients. Getting involved romantically with a patient is always forbidden.
  • Poor ethics: What you do in your private life will reflect on your professional life. Drinking and driving, charges of financial fraud, a violent fight with an intimate partner and other questionable behavior can absolutely endanger your career.

New rules for California lawyers took effect on Nov. 1, 2018

If you are a member of The State Bar of California, then you probably already know that several new rules were either added or changed to the Rules of Professional Conduct. In fact, there were 70 of them, and they all took effect on Nov. 1, 2018.

It's been about 30 years since this type of revision to the rules has occurred. This means that numerous lawyers out there could easily forget to take the time to familiarize themselves with the new rules. If you fail to take the time to review them, you could find yourself in trouble. 

What sort of conduct could give rise to an ethics violation?

Whether you practice here in California or in some other state, you must follow certain rules as an attorney. When you fail to do so, you could end up under fire and facing disciplinary action.

Even though you had to learn those rules at some point, that does not mean that mistakes aren't made. Sometimes, lawyers forget the rules and don't realize they may have crossed the line. In other cases, the allegations simply aren't true. Regardless, it might be a good idea to review what the American Bar Association lists as misconduct.

4 things that could put your realtor's license in danger

Could losing your real estate license be easier than you think? Just like other professionals, realtors are held to a high standard by both the National Association of Realtors and the California Bureau of Real Estate. What might put your real estate license in danger?

1. Educational shortcomings

Bar clears Michael Avenatti of allegations

Michael Avenatti, the attorney famous for representing Stormy Daniels, has survived a challenge to his legal license over supposedly unethical and fraudulent behavior. The California Bar has finished its investigation and determined that no further action is warranted.

The investigation began due to a complaint from another attorney. That attorney represents a variety of creditors who have claims against Tully's, a now-defunct coffee chain out of Seattle. Avenatti once ran the parent company under which the coffee stores operated. The attorney who filed the complaint alleged that Avenatti stole tax money from employee paychecks and took an illegal transfer from the business to pay for his law firm's bankruptcy.

Student loan debts are costing professionals more than money

Student loan debt has become a national problem. The rising cost of education makes it difficult to graduate with a four-year degree without a mound of debt. For those who have gone on to even higher education and pursued professional degrees, the debt from their student loans can easily become insurmountable.

All told, 44 million people in the United States owe a total of $1.5 trillion in student loans. Of those loans, $8.5 million are in default. That's alarming news since defaulting on one's student loans can lead to painful consequences. A borrower may see his or her tax refunds withheld, have any wages garnished, be subject to calls from collectors and -- in 15 states -- lose his or her professional license. California is one of those states.

Avoid allegations of inappropriate contact with a patient

One of the biggest nightmares a physician can face is allegations of inappropriate contact with a patient. Even the accusation, if it becomes widely known, can be enough to damage your personal and professional reputation for years to come.

So, how do you protect yourself from such accusations?

Doctors let their mental health slide over licensing fears

No one should have to choose between staying employed and seeking help for depression -- but a lot of physicians feel like that's exactly the choice they have to make.

A rash of suicides among physicians and several recent studies have people taking a hard look at what's going on in the medical community. According to experts, doctors have the highest suicide rates of all workers in the United States. Yet, doctors seldom seek help for their mental illnesses.

Your law career and alcohol abuse

You probably never doubted that your life as an attorney would be stressful. From the earliest days of law school, you likely realized just how much stress the career involved. After all, your work consists of helping people through some of the most traumatic moments of their lives, and it is not uncommon for a lawyer to carry many emotional burdens while working a case.

Unfortunately, there are not always positive outlets for that stress. If you are like many in your profession, you may have learned that alcohol is a quick and accessible way to relieve stress. Sadly, it is also a dangerous choice.

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