As a practicing medical professional, you must be aware of the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC). But while you may know that this department exists, you may not understand its exact function or even its ability to negatively affect your medical career. Continue reading to learn the role of the OPMC and how one of the experienced OPMC/OPD misconduct defense lawyers at Walker Medical Law can stand by your side should you ever encounter this department.
What is the OPMC and what is its role?
Simply put, the OPMC has been established to investigate and adjudicate complaints against physicians, physician assistants, unlicensed and licensed residents, and other specialist assistants practicing in New York State. Of note, this department receives thousands of complaints per year, whether they be from patients, healthcare professionals, or healthcare institutions.
The OPMC board is made up of two-thirds physicians and one-third lay members, which may include physician assistants. The board’s physicians are nominated by state, county, and specialty medical societies; while lay members are appointed by the commissioner of health with the approval of the governor.
What might happen after an investigation is run against me?
The OPMC makes a diligent effort to weed out complaints that are baseless or otherwise based on issues that lie outside of its jurisdiction. However, should evidence suggest that a medical professional indeed practiced misconduct, then it will not hesitate to run an investigation against them.
If this happens to you, it is wise that you cooperate throughout the investigative process. This means participating in interviews and producing relevant records upon request. A failure to comply may constitute misconduct in and of itself, according to the New York State Education Law. Then, if this investigation concludes that there is a sufficient amount of evidence pointing to your misconduct, you may be summoned to a hearing in front of the OPMC board. With this, the board has the authority to take any of the following actions against you:
- A revocation of your medical license.
- A suspension of your medical license for a fixed period of time.
- A suspension of your medical license until training, education, or rehabilitation is completed.
- An annulment of your medical license or its registration.
- A censure and reprimand.
- A fine of up to $10,000 for each finding of guilt.
- A requirement to pursue education or training courses.
- A requirement to complete up to 500 hours of community service.
This is not to mention that the board’s action against you may be made public record. So, if you have a pending investigation, then you must not wait too long to retain the services of one of the skilled OPMC/OPD misconduct defense lawyers. Please call Walker Medical Law at your earliest possible convenience.