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Realizing the goal of becoming a licensed Physician Assistant takes a great deal of time and a significant financial investment. Your license stands as acknowledgement that your skills and abilities have earned you the right to be a healthcare provider. Not everyone who earns this right can keep it however. Defending your Physician Assistants license can sometimes be nearly as difficult as earning it was.
All that it takes to lose your license is one simple claim of professional misconduct. It doesn’t matter if the allegation is true or not; the accusation alone can destroy your career if you fail to mount a strong defense of your name and reputation. Don’t delay, seek competent legal help the moment your livelihood needs defending. Only experienced attorneys understand these issues and only professionals can provide you with adequate protection.
A recent survey lists the healthcare industry as the most stress and and complaint causing profession. Half of all healthcare workers report that their workloads are increasing year to year. Many in the industry plan to change professions in the near future. With so much difficulty surrounding the profession, it’s clear that becoming a licensed Physician Assistant is more of a calling than just another job. This makes possibly losing your career over a simple mistake or false accusation all the more tragic.
Given the increasing responsibilities that Physician Assistants are undertaking, their interaction with patients is also increasing. The majority of these interactions go off without a hitch; it’s that 1 in 1000 event that can have devastating consequences. Vulnerable patients are subject to misunderstand their treatment or to get upset with their medical outcomes. When the time to lay blame comes around, the Physician Assistant often finds themselves the target of an aggressive attorney’s campaign.
In New Jersey, several charges are enough to put a Physician Assistant on the road to losing their license. These charges include but are not limited to:
Accusations of willful negligence
Commission of medical malpractice
Performance of duties while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Medical billing improprieties
Accusations of carrying out unnecessary medical procedures
In some cases, the charge alone is enough to warrant to loss of your license. The critical nature of the healthcare industry, along with a lack of understanding of the importance of the role that Physician Assistants play, means that innocent people can and do lose their licenses. Unfounded allegations shouldn’t cause the loss of a career and a competent attorney can ensure that they don’t.
Unlike most jobs, the Physician Assistant’s career and livelihood are always under scrutiny. One brush with the law can lead to license suspension or revocation. Even if no criminal conviction takes place, a simple interaction with law enforcement can lead to others area of your life being investigated. These areas can include:
Social media accounts
Child support arrears
Allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Sources of inquiry and investigation into the lives of Physician Assistants have virtually no boundaries. Unlike a criminal matter where the overwhelming burden of proof is on the accuser, Physician Assistants often find themselves in the position of having to offer an affirmative defense in the face of a governing body that need not be overly concerned with what might be considered fair to the accused.
Perhaps the most important advice that a Physician Assistant can take is to consult an attorney immediately after receiving any form of disciplinary communication from the State Board of Medical Examiners. It can be tempting to speak freely with investigators; especially if you feel that you have nothing to hide. This can be a very serious mistake. Investigators have no obligation to protect your interests and will certainly turn over any incriminating evidence against you that they uncover. In some cases, a Physician Assistant can lose their license based on information which is completely unrelated to the initial cause of investigation.
Recent data indicates that as many as 40% of all medical lawsuits are deemed to be frivolous. As much as we might like to believe in the good nature of others, the reality is that sometimes people make false and or baseless accusations. Whatever the motivation of the accuser, these charges must be investigated and can be disastrous for the Physician Assistant who lacks proper legal representation.
In New Jersey, Physician Assistants are regulated by the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee of the State Board of Medical Examiners. This powerful board oversees licensing and disciplinary actions relating to the job of Physician Assistant. The rules and regulations that govern Physician Assistants are necessarily complex; in the case of disciplinary action having an attorney can mean the difference between presenting your case successfully or losing your license.
If you’ve already had your license suspended or revoked there may still be a chance for you to get it back. Defending your name and reputation against serious charges is a job that is definitely best left to the experts. Even if you decide against getting legal help, schedule a consultation and learn your options from an attorney who is familiar with the legal issues affecting you.