What Is the Difference Between the OPMC and the OPD?

You may have heard the Office of Professional Misconduct (OPMC) and the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) be used interchangeably to refer to the institutions that can suspend and revoke medical licenses. Though, there are subtle discrepancies between the two. Follow along to find out the difference between the two and how a proficient New York OPMC/OPD misconduct defense attorney at Walker Medical Law can protect you from both.

What is the OPMC versus the OPD?

For one, the OPMC is a branch of the New York State Department of Health that is in charge of investigating and prosecuting complaints against medical professionals who hold medical licenses. Namely, these medical professionals are physicians and physician assistants. And specifically, OPMC investigators tend to be medical professionals themselves (i.e., registered nurses) or individuals who have investigatory backgrounds (i.e., police officers, insurance investigators, etc).

On the other hand, the OPD is a branch of the New York State Department of Education that is in charge of investigating and prosecuting complaints against over 50 different types of professionals who hold different licenses. Namely, these professionals include nurses, dentists, and pharmacists. And specifically, OPD investigators tend to be individuals who have investigatory backgrounds in other state agencies (i.e., auditors).

In the end, though, the similarity between the OPMC and the OPD is that anyone can bring forward a complaint against a negligent professional. Examples are as follows:

  • A disgruntled patient.
  • A disgruntled client.
  • A disgruntled family member of a patient or client.
  • A disgruntled current or former employee.
  • A hospital.
  • An insurance company.
  • A state agency.

What will happen during an OPMC investigation?

To reiterate, if you are a physician or physician assistant, you may be watched by the OPMC. That is, just a single complaint may trigger the OPMC into conducting a full-on investigation against you. With an investigation, your patients, employees, and coworkers will be interviewed regarding the accusation of misconduct to determine whether you are guilty.

At the very least, you may receive an administrative warning, which is a non-disciplinary notice of what the identified problem and the recommendations for a remedial course of action. Notably, this warning will not be accessible online for current and future patients and employers.

However, the OPMC may go as far as a hearing. And if you are found guilty at your hearing, you may be sentenced to penalties such as hefty fines, extensive community service hours, extensive continuing medical education classes, and ultimately the suspension or revocation of your license. This is why it is recommended to negotiate a settlement before your hearing.

For more information on both OPMC and OPD investigations, you must not hesitate in speaking with a talented New York OPMC/OPD misconduct defense attorney. We await your phone call.