Boards have great latitude in deciding whether or not to take disciplinary action and mete out punishment.  In general, action against you will be taken when a Board finds there is: (1) unprofessional conduct; (2) professional incompetence; (3) inability of the professional to engage in the practice of his or her profession for mental or physical reasons; or (4) failure to report an act that must be reported.

Licensing cases, where disciplinary action may be taken, are typically handled by an attorney.  These cases frequently involve the following matters:

      • Documentation or medical recordkeeping violations
      • Breaches in the accepted standard of care
      • Behavioral transgressions
      • Intemperate use of drugs or alcohol
      • Discipline or adverse actions by hospital or peer review board​s
      • Criminal conduct, such as arrests, charges, and convictions
      • Discipline by a licensing board in another state
      • Failure to complete required continuing education in a timely manner
      • Failure to report criminal convictions (felonies and misdemeanors), arrests, investigations, and pending disciplinary action in an initial or renewal license application
      • Inability to perform the duties of one’s occupation due to a physical or mental condition
      • Prescribing controlled substances to a known drug abuser
      • Non-therapeutic prescribing of controlled substances
      • Violations of probation or a Consent Agreement

After the initial review of a complaint or after an interview or hearing, the Board may find that the information provided is not sufficiently serious to merit disciplinary action.  In those cases:

The Board may: (1) dismiss the case entirely; (2) require the licensee to complete designated continuing medical education courses; and/or (3) issuing an advisory letter.

If the Board finds that the complaint is valid and that the licensee’s action may endanger the public health, safety, or welfare, the Board has many possible alternatives ranging from mild to severe sanctions.  These include:

          • Entering into a consent agreement with the professional to:
          • Restrict or limit the professional’s practice or professional activities; and/or complete a board-approved rehabilitative, retraining​ or assessment program at the professional’s own expense
          • Issuing a Letter of Reprimand
          • Issuing a Decree of Censure, an official action against the professional’s license, possibly including restitution of fees to a patient and reporting to the National Practitioner Data Bank
          • Fixing a period and terms of probation, possibly including up to one year of license suspension, restriction of the professional’s ​license to practice in the field, restitution of fees or education, or rehabilitation at the licensee’s own expense
          • Imposing a ​civil financial penalty
          • Suspending or revoking a license
          • Reporting the infraction to the appropriate criminal justice agency if a criminal violation has occurred.  If the Board finds that the professional’s activity seriously threatens public health, safety, or welfare, the Board may take ​emergency action, such as restricting a license or ordering a summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action

The key point is that the professional should treat every complaint as serious, and strongly consider seeking assistance from an attorney.