I have represented several physicians who have had psychological breakdowns and had to be hospitalized because they were deemed to be an imminent danger to himself or herself or somebody else. Obviously a doctor who has this happen to him or her is not exactly in shape to take care of patients. The state that they are in will suspend their license, at least temporarily, while they get into treatment. Sometimes, the doctor then goes back to another state where he or she has a license – I see this happen a lot – and practices there even after the problem is brought to the surface.
If they can continue to stay in practice, continue to see a psychiatrist and take medications if necessary or do whatever treatment is required, the state will allow them to continue in practice. If they also have a New York State license, New York will look into that issue, always trying to see if there was unprofessional conduct that will require disciplinary action. So far, I’ve been able to keep the doctors away from the disciplinary action because I’ve been able to prove that they were in treatment in another state. I sent New York State updates on their progress and the opinions of the doctors that they were in good shape mentally, able to treat patients, and able to be qualified and competent physicians.
You have to keep New York State up-to-date on this. If you do, they will withhold any action, at least in my experience, waiting for a final resolution. You do not want them to suspend the license of your client because that gets reported to all sorts of data banks and becomes an additional problem, even though it arises out of the same incident. New York State, I find, is pretty good about this. They will refrain from punishing a doctor as long as that doctor stays in treatment and New York State is kept up-to-date with that treatment.
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