We represented a physician who surrendered his medical license some years earlier due to several complaints of inappropriate behavior with some of his patients. One of the matters resulted in a criminal conviction.
The physician wanted to have his license reinstated and we assisted him in preparing the required paperwork for the application. This consisted of five affidavits from individuals who stated that in their opinion the doctor understood what he had done wrong and that he was not a threat to commit the same types of incorrect behavior in the future. After the documentation was properly submitted, a Hearing date was set down and that Hearing was recently conducted.
Now, obviously, an attempt to restore the medical license of a physician who has this type of history is a very difficult task. Accordingly, we had to think of how best to present the case to the Peer Committee. Therefore, we approached two psychiatrists who had treated the doctor for these issues over the last 4 years and they agreed to testify on his behalf at the Hearing. We also enlisted the support of an internist who had referred numerous patients to the doctor over the 20 years before the events that caused the surrender of the doctor’s license–he also agreed to testify at the Hearing.
The point that we wanted to prove was that the doctor had been depressed at the time these events happened and that he now, after some years of therapy, fully recognized how totally inappropriate his behavior with his patients had been. With that recognition came the certainty that he would never commit these types of acts again. In other words, the acknowledgment of the problem provided the cure and that scenario was testified to by both of his psychiatrists.
Of course, the testimony of the doctor was the most important part of the presentation. To his credit, the doctor testified sincerely regarding his fall from grace and was equally persuasive when it came to his discussion as to why this will never happen again. Additionally, we presented proof that the doctor had completed over 800 credit hours of CME courses to demonstrate that he had kept up with the practice of medicine while he was not practicing.
Please note that this recommendation from the Peer Committee is not the final say as the doctor must now present himself to the Committee on the Professions for its approval and, finally, the decision will be made by the Board of Regents. But, this recommendation is a huge positive step toward the possible restoration of the physician’s license.
Finally, the result in this case drives home the point that a medical professional should never assume that the issue is a lost cause. Seeking out the advice of an experienced advocate should always be considered. We believe that any physician who wants to have his/her license restored must understand that there is a long hard road to travel and that preparation is of the utmost importance. You must admit to the problem in order to try to rectify that problem. But, if you are sincere and address the issues head-on, you will have an opportunity to get back to being a doctor again.