A San Luis Obispo radiologist has voluntarily surrendered his license to practice after an investigation into his alleged drug use, abuse of prescriptions and malpractice.

The investigation by the California Medical Board lasted nearly two years and looked all the way back to the radiologist’s activities in 2010. During the investigation, his license to practice was suspended from May 2017 until February 2019. While he was under suspension, he was required to participate in monthly drug testing and drug addiction treatment.

Ultimately, he didn’t comply with the terms of his probation. Records show that the radiologist refused to participate in a monthly drug test at some point. He turned his license to practice over the next month, saying, “I decided that at age 65 it was time to retire.”

According to the radiologist, his issues with the Board were “strictly of a personal nature.” He claimed to never have harmed any of his patients. However, he admitted to writing prescriptions for controlled substances to his family members and friends back in 2010 and to misdiagnosing a patient once in 2016 due to his own drug use.

It’s hard to determine from court documents alone the real nature of the problem that led to the radiologist coming to the Medical Board’s attention. However, this case holds a warning for other medical professionals: No far is too far for the Medical Board to look back at your prescription habits.

Decades ago, when there was less concern over the opioid crisis, medical professionals sometimes did favors for friends and family members by writing them the occasional prescription for pain medications — usually to save them a trip to a doctor.

Those type of actions can come back to haunt you nearly a decade or more later. If you find yourself under investigation, take the smart step: Contact an attorney with experience handling professional licensing investigations.