As a practicing physician, your license to practice represents not only the source of your professional pride and job satisfaction, but also your source of income. Consequently, if a patient or former patient lodges a Medical Board complaint against you, this can pose a serious problem.
While physicians most fear a medical malpractice lawsuit, Physicians Practice cautions that the results of a Medical Board complaint could include such negative things as the following:
- A large fine
- Damage to your reputation
- Suspension of your license
- Revocation of your license
Common Medical Board complaints
Most Medical Board complaints allege a standard of care failure on your part, such as one of the following:
- Failure to properly diagnose
- Failure to prescribe proper and appropriate prescription medications
- Failure to maintain patient confidentiality
- Failure to provide appropriate postoperative care
Unfortunately, however, an increasing number of Medical Board complaints allege that the physician complained against sexually assaulted the patient or otherwise engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with him or her.
Defending against a Medical Board complaint
Your wisest strategy when faced with a Medical Board complaint consists of taking it seriously and aggressively defending against it, likely with the assistance of counsel. Be sure to check your medical malpractice insurance policy to determine the following:
- Whether it covers Medical Board complaint defense costs
- Whether it limits the amount of Medical Board complaint defense costs it will pay
- Whether it provides for stand-alone Medical Board complaint defense costs or combines these with the defense costs for an associated medical malpractice lawsuit
If your policy sets a maximum amount it will pay for defending a Medical Board complaint and its consequent malpractice suit, you may wish to purchase additional coverage so you have sufficient funds available to defend against both.