What should you if you are accused of inappropriate sexual conduct?
How do you deal with a situation where you, the physician, are admittedly guilty of misconduct? Continue reading →
We recently represented a pediatrician who put himself in a very poor professional position and fortunately is finally back practicing medicine. This physician was practicing medicine in a state outside of New York and while there he had an affair with the mother of one of his pediatric patients. He also made remarks to other mothers that were viewed as … Continue reading →
At least three areas of difficulty can be effected by a sexual event and they are a criminal prosecution, a possible loss of license and a civil law suit for assault. If you plead guilty to a misdemeanor or a felony you will probably lose your medical license very soon thereafter. There really is no defense to the charge of misconduct as you have admitted guilt to a “crime” and that by itself is grounds for you to have your license revoked. If a civil suit for assault follows, the legal fees will not be covered by an insurance company so you will have to pay your own lawyer. Also, the case will be difficult to defend as the criminal conviction against you will be allowed into evidence at the civil trial.
Remember, while a guilty plea might keep you out of jail, it can have a ruinous effect on your medical license.
Often what happens is that the health care provider receives a phone call from the patient saying that the sexual event was not appreciated. Many times that phone call is being made from the District Attorney’s office and is being tape recorded. If you acknowledge that this event did in fact take place, you will no doubt be indicted for assault. Because of your admission on the phone, you might very well have to plead guilty just to stay out of jail. Then OPMC will be notified and your medical license will probably be revoked. Then, you can be sued civilly for money damages and you will not have much in the way of a defense by that time. (Also, note that the process can be started by a visit to your office by the patient while the patient is wearing a recording device.)
This most often comes up with the mothers of pediatric patients and believe me the answer to the question is a resounding “no”. OPMC will charge you with immoral conduct if you do this and they will investigate to see if you have done it once or if you are doing this on a routine basis over time. Obviously, the more you have done it the worse things might get regarding your license. Also, if there is sexual conduct in the presence of the pediatric patients that makes matters even worse. You might get away with this if there was one person and the sexual conduct was out of the office with no children in the area.
The problem with the sexual contact with a co-employee is that the situation can often lead to the dismissal from the health care facility or hospital. When that happens the dismissal will be reported to the Department of Health and you might get investigated by OPMC. Also, you will have to explain why you were dismissed when you renew your medical license. If you lie about the situation on your renewal form that lying, if discovered, will be misconduct in and of itself.
New York lawyer Paul E. Walker, is a Manhattan based expert in defending medical professionals. If you are looking for an attorney to represent you with the OPMC or OPD, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) of the New York State Department of Health may conduct investigations and issue disciplinary sanctions after trial. OPMC sanctions can have serious consequences … Continue reading →
This case study reviews a doctor who was fined $10,000 and received a license suspension for mis-calculating fee for providing medical records, and failing to respond to the resulting inquiry. Continue reading →
With a history of a manslaughter conviction and a 6 year prison term how do you convince the State to issue a Nursing license? Continue reading →
This article discusses the best way to present yourself when you are attempting to have your medical license restored. Continue reading →