Every client works with our founding partner in order to get legal help.
We have immense experience handling federal cases.
We have offices all over the USA, and can handle federal cases nationwide.
Typically, state agencies have extensive regulatory powers to oversee the professional licenses of physician assistants. This could mean that what you do on or off the job can have a negative impact on your career.
Following standard duty of care for patients is scrutinized if the Texas Physician Assistant Board (TPAB)receives a complaint. However, what is occurring in your personal life is not off limits in determining the appropriate disciplinary action, up to suspending your license.
Some examples of misconduct separate from your role as a physician assistant include:
• An allegation or conviction of a crime
• Substance abuse
• Psychological problems
• Marital and relationship problems
• Financial difficulties
• Offensive social media postings
Virtually any type of negative behavior that the Board considers inappropriate can lead to an investigation of misconduct.
Professional Life and Personal Life of Physician Assistants Converge
Clinical negligence is a concern for many because it usually ends with a medical malpractice suit being filed. There are standards for all healthcare professionals to follow and when something goes wrong, disciplinary boards will open an investigation. Complaints from anyone – patients, coworkers, family – is evaluated to determine the level of negligence.
The same is said for nonclinical issues. Physician assistants are subject to having their personal lives scrutinized. Conduct deemed inappropriate during personal time that reflects negatively on the healthcare profession will be investigated.
Behaviors deemed inappropriate include alcohol, illegal drugs, abuse of legal drugs and a DUI conviction. Usually, a DUI is an automatic referral to the disciplinary board. Even domestic issues such as failing to pay child or spousal support, getting a restraining order or complaint for stalking or harassment goes straight to the board.
The scope of disciplinary investigations that follow can include a host of evidence such as:
• Social media postings
• Other electronic communications
In addition, the disciplinary board could consider things like defaulting on student loans or bankruptcies as financial misconduct.
Basically, every area of your life is subject to licensure investigations. Terminations from previous employment and disciplinary actions against your physician assistant’s license in another state is also taken seriously.
Penalties for Misconduct
A disciplinary board retains the authority to make inquiries into any area of a physician assistant’s professional and personal life. The practice of medicine is considered a great privilege that also expects great responsibility for those who make healthcare a career choice. Because of this, penalties can range from a warning to having your license revoked permanently.
Proceedings to Restore Your License
Although you could lose your license after an investigation, there is a possibility that it can be restored. In rare occasions, a physician assistant who is believed to be a “continuing threat to the public welfare” is subject to an expedited process that could result in a temporary license suspension.
This action may occur without notice or a hearing if circumstances surrounding the case are extremely serious. Following this decision, you face an uphill battle to have the case litigated. In the meantime, you are suspended without an income.
In standard procedures, you will receive an advance notice of the temporary suspension hearing. Before the date, you can retain a physician assistant license defense attorney to accompany you to the hearing.
One of two outcomes may occur during the formal hearing. If the decision is made not to suspend your license, the case proceeds through regular investigation channels. Possible scenarios to find a resolution are also considered.
If, however, your license is suspended, working out an agreement is possible. Otherwise, you will need to litigate the issue at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) or seek relief from the Travis County District Court. Under the best scenario while being suspended, your only option is to contest the SOAH hearing until a final decision is reached.
Consult with a Dallas Physician’s Assistant License Defense Lawyer
Becoming the target of the TPAB can be unnerving after you have worked hard to reach this level in your career. Once you learn that you could face disciplinary action, including license suspension, you should consult with an experienced license defense lawyer for advice on your rights and obligations. Submitting responses before speaking with an attorney could be devastating to your case.
When facing charges of professional or personal misconduct, you need an advocate to help you through the treacherous proceedings. Raiser & Kenniff, PC will provide guidance and work towards keeping your license active.