Why do criminal charges affect medical licenses?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Professional Misconduct |

Being charged with a criminal charge can affect your life differently, including careerwise, especially for people in the medical field. You may lose your medical license as one of the consequences you face for an offense. The Pennsylvania Department of State protects the public’s health and safety. Therefore, a healthcare provider who acts in a manner that suggests otherwise may be subjected to license suspension or revocation.

Here is why this happens:

It’s a professional misconduct

Engaging in unlawful acts may constitute professional misconduct in Pennsylvania, and as a result, a healthcare provider can be subject to disciplinary action, which may include license suspension or revocation. 

The State Board of Medicine enforces this rule. The board listens to cases and acts accordingly. In the first offense, it may act as it deems appropriate. A second offense may lead to license suspension and a third can result in revocation.

The crime in question may determine if a case is an unprofessional conduct. But primarily, accusations or charges that create a risk of harm to others, such as drunk driving, dishonesty or violent crimes, affect the career of healthcare providers. For instance, a DUI charge may suggest one can’t control their alcohol intake, which may translate to presenting a risk to the patients.

What if you had a case before your license application?

If you faced an accusation or charge before applying for your license, perhaps you were in medical school, it will be best to disclose this information – this may not affect your approval chances. 

The department will conduct a background check on you, and they may find the charge. Being dishonest when applying for your license may not be the best way to start your career.

If you have lost your medical license due to a criminal charge, you should get legal guidance to protect your career.