Can a Mood Disorder Jeopardize My Medical License?

Just because you are a physician does not mean that you are immune to the effects of mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. You must properly address your mental health concerns by attending therapy sessions or even taking a temporary step back from practicing. This is because the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Misconduct (OPMC) or Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) may not be exactly thrilled to hear about these issues. Continue reading to learn how your mood disorder might jeopardize your medical license and how one of the proficient OPMC/OPD misconduct defense lawyers at Walker Medical Law can offer support during this difficult time.

How might my mood disorder affect my ability to practice?

Firstly, anxiety is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Symptoms that may arise include intrusive thoughts, fatigue, and physical aches and pains. Secondly, depression is characterized by persistently lowered moods and lost interest in everyday activities. Symptoms include lack of concentration, slowness in activity, and agitation/irritability.

As you can see, both of these mood disorders are attributed to interfering with daily activities. This may mean that you grapple with anxiety or depression may affect your ability to practice medicine at the standard of care expected of you. With this, your patient(s) may notice such hindrances in the following ways:

  • Your heightened emotions may lead you to partake in drugs or alcohol before scheduled appointments with your patients.
  • Your fear or slow thought processing may lead you to miss scheduled appointments with your patients.
  • Your emotional overload may lead you to unload personal issues onto your patients.
  • Your poor concentration may lead you to prescribe the wrong medications to your patients.
  • Your poor judgment may lead you to make sexual advances on patients.

How might the disclosing of my mood disorder jeopardize my medical license?

If your mood disorder has begun to inconvenience your patients and their ability to reach a full recovery, they may be prompted to file a claim with the OPMC or OPD. This may lead to an OPMC or OPD investigation against you.

You must understand that simply admitting your struggle with a mood disorder to the OPMC or OPD will not jeopardize your medical license. After all, burnout in the healthcare field is an unfortunate commonality. However, if they conclude that it has affected your ability to adequately perform your job, then they may take certain actions. For example, they may suspend your license until you seek treatment.

At the end of the day, you require one of the talented OPMC/OPD misconduct defense lawyers in your corner. So please get in touch with us at Walker Medical Law today.