The state tasks the New York Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) with ensuring patients receive safe medical care. There are certain situations when these officials can revoke a physician’s license to practice in New York. Three of the most common include the following.
#1: Criminal conviction
The state can revoke the medical license of those who face criminal charges. These can include allegations of drunk driving, domestic abuse, and fraud. The presence of a conviction raises the question as to whether the physician has the “moral character” to practice.
Those who are convicted of a crime may need to submit a letter providing a detailed explanation of the arrest. It is wise to seek legal counsel before doing so. The state could use questions of moral character or the next category, misconduct, as a broad way to justify a decision to revoke the medical license based on the presence of a criminal conviction.
Although potentially used to justify revocation for criminal convictions, the term misconduct provides state officials with the authority to act out against physicians for an array of allegations. These can also include allegations of the fraudulent practice of medicine or that the physician’s care rose to the level of gross incompetence or negligence.
The state may also consider practicing while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or mental or physical impairment as misconduct potentially worthy of license revocation.
#3: Patient abuse
A failure to provide quality care to a patient can result in allegations of abuse or neglect. These can include a never event, like a wrong-site surgery, as well as emotional or physical abuse.
Bonus: Options if the OPMC is considering revoking your medical license
It is important to keep clear and precise records to help defend against claims of poor patient care. It is also important to note that no one has to go through an investigation or face these allegations on their own. The law allows you to have legal counsel on your side, advocating for your interests and defending you against these allegations.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication