It can take years of hard work for a Pennsylvania resident to complete their educational and professional requirements to become a licensed doctor. While their dream may be to serve others and to offer assistance to individuals suffering from medical ailments, the realities of their lives may put their chances of practicing medicine into jeopardy. This is often the case when a doctor is charged with drunk driving or another alcohol-related offense.
Alcoholism is a disease, but medical licensing boards often see DUI arrests as signs that a doctor may be unfit to practice. For example, an out-of-state doctor was threatened with losing his license to practice medicine for around three months when he was forced to appear before his licensing board due to a drunk driving matter. His license suspension was stayed, however, because the doctor was able to enroll in a treatment program to help him overcome his problems with alcohol.
Punishing doctors with the loss of their practicing privileges is a harsh truth for some who suffer from a treatable illness like alcoholism. While drunk driving is a dangerous behavior, it is often the byproduct of a disease that an individual may not have any control to stop on their own.
When Pennsylvania doctors are facing criminal charges that can threaten their professional practicing privileges, it is important that they are aware of their rights. Like the doctor in this story, they may have the opportunities to seek help for their addictions and compulsions so that they are able to return to their careers free of their ailments. Attorneys who support medical professionals in these difficult legal situations should be consulted by those who are facing the loss of their licenses.