Medical Misconduct & Discipline Law

Standards of Care

A simple request for patient records can lead to a wide-ranging investigation into your professional practices. Have you documented your habits and due diligence? Are there clients, patients, or colleagues who would speak poorly of your performance? A review from a body like the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) or the Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) could result in suspension, fines, or license revocation.

OPMC and OPD Sent Me a Notice
While physicians are required to cooperate with investigators on requests for medical records, there is no obligation for you to agree to an interview. Seek the advice of an attorney before speaking to their investigators. Nearly all medical professionals are proud and certain of their practice and integrity, but don't presume to know the scope of their investigation. If you are interviewed, OPMC is required to provide you with a summary report.
What Constitutes Misconduct?
  • A single incident of negligence or incompetence.
  • A pattern of inappropriate prescribing or medical practice.
  • Impairment by drugs, alcohol, physical or mental disability.
  • The Board’s review of a medical society's recommendation.
  • The Board’s review of facts underlying a medical malpractice lawsuit verdict.
  • A criminal conviction.
What Is the Course of an OPMC Investigation?
If OPMC investigators determine there is sufficient evidence of misconduct, their findings will be referred to a committee, which will make recommendations to the Director. If a disciplinary hearing is held, members of the Board for Professional Medical Conduct – consisting of two physicians and one layperson – will make findings of guilt or innocence, and the charges will be public. The Board has the authority to limit or revoke a physician's license, order education or retraining, or impose a fine. Even if a hearing is not ordered, these proceedings can be made public by a vote of the committee members. Most often, OPMC cases are resolved by a consent order, in which a physician admits some wrongdoing, but avoids more serious penalties.

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