Any physician who has had his/her medical license revoked by New York State may, generally speaking, file an application after three years from the date of revocation with the New York State Department of Education to have the license restored.
However, this restoration process is not a simple one and it requires a great deal of thought and planning to have any chance of being successful. Your license was revoked due to some very serious circumstances which led to charges being brought against you by the New York State Department of Health, Office of Professional Medical Conduct, OPMC, and the State is not going to restore your license easily. Therefore, in order to give yourself the best opportunity to have your license restored you must understand the thinking and philosophy of the Board of Regents before you start the restoration process.
Please note that you have to show that there is a “compelling reason” for the Board of Regents to grant your application and restore your license. The Board will compare your “compelling reason” against the misconduct that was the underlying cause of the revocation of your license. Additionally, you must understand that the granting of a medical license is a privilege and not a right that citizens have. It is necessary to earn this privilege and that is obviously a steep mountain to climb when your license was revoked due to some very serious misconduct.
One of the items that the State looks at in this application process is whether you have demonstrated remorse for the conduct that caused you to lose your license in the first place. You might think that you can say you are sorry for the loss your license because your career has been destroyed and your wife and children have suffered greatly because of this situation. However, that argument will get you exactly nowhere with the Department of Education or the Board of Regents. The State will simply say that you are only feeling remorse due to the damage you have done to yourself and your family and that is not what is being looked for. Also, if you try to argue that your were really not guilty of the behavior that led to your loss of license you will be unsuccessful in your attempt to restore your license. Please note that you already argued this point before OPMC and lost. You are not going to be able to argue it again during the restoration process.
The Board of Regents and the Department of Education will also take into consideration whether the conduct that led to the revocation of your medical license might occur again. This concept is certainly important in substance abuse and sexual misconduct situations. Remember, the Board is charged with protecting the public and therefore it has to be convinced that you have been rehabilitated and that the conduct will not recur. You therefore must take steps and measures to convince the Board that in fact you have been rehabilitated, and that is not always an easy thing to do.
You also must convince the State that you are competent to practice medicine. Since you have been out of practice for at least three years it is incumbent upon you to demonstrate that you have kept up to date with medicine and are qualified, professionally, to practice. Please note that you cannot meet this hurdle by taking CME courses off the internet for a few months before you submit your application. This will simply be found to be insufficient.
You have, as we say in the law, the burden of proof to convince the Board that you are fit to have your license restored. To do this you must plan the restoration process from the day that your license is revoked. You must be able to convince the Board that you are serious about getting your license back. You must show that you understand what you did that was wrong, that you are sorry for the behaviour, that you have kept abreast of the medical field and that you deserve the trust that the people have in physicians.
Clearly, to give yourself the best opportunity to regain your license you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in these matters. Please note that not every lawyer is the right person to do this. Just like some doctors are surgeons and some are not, you require an attorney who understands the workings of the New York State Department of Health, OPMC and the New York State Department of Education. The process to regain your license is painstaking and difficult but if you want to afford yourself the best opportunity to succeed then you have to give it your best efforts.
This informational blog post was brought to you by Paul E. Walker, an experienced New York Medical License Restoration Attorney.