Can Alcohol Addiction Impact my Career as a Medical Professional?

Medical professionals are highly trusted individuals, as they are given the job of taking care of a life. However, they are also simply just people. Like anyone else, they are human and can face hardship in their lives as well as make mistakes. This can include alcohol addiction. If a medical professional is addicted to alcohol, it can be hard for them to take care of themselves, thus making it even harder for them to do their job. This is not a problem to be ashamed of, however, it is important to be sure it does not impact their practice. Otherwise, it can severely affect the lives of their patients. In the event that it does, the medical professional can face consequences as a result. If you are facing these situations, be sure to contact an experienced New York medical defense attorney for assistance.

Can I Lose My Job Due to Alcoholism?

If a medical professional is suffering from an alcohol addiction, it can put them at risk of losing their job. It is important to know that this is even the case if the professional does not see the addiction as a hindrance or threat to their ability to perform. Any medical treatment or advisement that is done while under the influence of alcohol can result in severe harm to a patient. It is because of this that patients or peers who suspect a professional has an alcohol addiction can make a complaint with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC). 

When a complaint is made to the OPMC, it results in an investigation into the professional’s career and practice. If they are struggling with an addiction and it impairs their ability to do their job, the OPMC may determine that they are unable to continue seeing patients. If a professional causes harm to a patient, they may face a lawsuit as well. 

What Consequences Can I Face?

When the OPMC investigates a professional for possible alcoholism, they can impose certain consequences that fit the findings of their investigation. This can vary depending on the situation. A common punishment for individuals in these situations is censure and reprimand. However, they may also be subject to a fine, substance abuse therapy, increased liability insurance, and more. In addition to this, it is important to know that some cases may call for the loss of the medical professional’s license if they are believed to be a threat to patients. 

How Can I Protect Myself?

There are many medical professionals who recognize the addiction they have and want to make a change in their life for the better. Those who do so can seek help to avoid facing the consequences imposed by the OPMC. Once a professional recognizes their problem, they can go to the Committee on Physicians Health as soon as possible. The Committee is able to help them enter a program for rehabilitation. If the OPMC sees that an effort is being made to correct the addiction, there is a possibility the medical professional may not have their license revoked permanently. 

Contact our Firm

When a medical professional is accused of misconduct, it is essential that they retain strong legal representation. If you require a medical law attorney for your legal matters, call Paul E. Walker, an experienced New York City OPMC & OPD Lawyer. Please contactthe Walker Medical Law firm to set up a free initial consultation.