Can a doctor lose their license due to addiction?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2022 | Professional License Issues |

Doctors spend eight long years earning their medical degrees. One of the worst things that can happen is to lose your medical license after all that time, money and effort. 

Unfortunately, countless doctors throughout the United States lose their medical licenses yearly due to substance abuse and addiction. The FSMB (Federation of State Medical Boards) mandates that doctors must not use alcohol or other substances when treating patients. They need to be thinking clearly and sober to practice medicine. If it is found that a doctor is addicted to alcohol or drugs, their license can be revoked. 

The impact of addiction on doctors

It’s estimated that 10% to 15% of doctors and nurses throughout the country suffer from addiction. Usually, the addictive substances include oxycodone and fentanyl, although other drugs are possible.

The stress on individuals working in the medical profession is high, and they must deal with emotional pain and hectic schedules daily. Also, doctors have easy access to drugs in their workplaces. 

When doctors suffer from substance abuse, they are putting their own health at risk but may also make mistakes when treating or neglecting patients. In many cases, the patients report doctor substance abuse to the administration. 

Will doctors lose their professional licenses?

If a doctor is reported to the medical boards for addiction concerns, they will likely have their license revoked. Many hospitals have intervention committees to help with these issues. However, once it reaches the state medical licensing board, the chances a doctor’s license will be revoked or suspended increase.

As a doctor, you have rights. If you have lost your license or believe you may lose it due to addiction or past addiction, it’s important to learn your legal options. This may help you save your license and get the help needed for your addiction.