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:
1. Accept responsibility
Whatever caused the Board to suspend your license is at least partially your fault. You need to fully accept responsibility for your actions and acknowledge what you did wrong. That goes a long way toward convincing others (like the members of the Board) that it won’t happen again.
2. Get off social media
It is so easy to further damage your own case on social media that it isn’t worth the risk. Nothing you do online will escape notice and the wrong comment or photo can be taken entirely out of context. At the very least, wait until your feelings about the situation cool so you won’t be tempted to post anything about it.
3. Don’t engage the media
News outlets live for a good story — not necessarily a fair and balanced one. If you don’t think that the Board is responsive to the press around a situation, think again. In today’s social climate, medical professionals who make mistakes can be treated mercilessly by the media. Don’t give interviews and don’t make comments. Silence is the only thing that won’t feed the frenzy.
4. Seek treatment
If addiction, alcoholism, anxiety or depression led to your license problems, seek treatment so that you can honestly look at the Board when it comes time for a review and say, “I have dealt with this.” You’ll feel better — and you’ll increase your chances of overcoming the issues with your medical license.
No matter what happens, remember that this isn’t the end of the world — it’s a chance at a new beginning. Many medical professionals struggle at times. Focus right now on how to come through this as if it were one more test you need to pass on the way to your career.