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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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New York Medical License Defense Lawyer

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 13, 2023)

Last Updated on: 13th October 2023, 09:49 am

New York Medical License Defense Lawyers: A Helpful Guide for Physicians

Getting a medical license in New York requires years of education, training, exams, background checks, and more. But keeping that license can be just as challenging, especially when facing investigations or allegations of misconduct. Even minor infractions can put your medical career at risk if you don’t have the right legal defense on your side.

This article provides physicians with a helpful overview of medical license defense in New York, including common allegations, the investigation process, potential penalties, and why hiring an experienced attorney is so critical. Read on for plain English explanations and advice to protect your reputation, livelihood and ability to practice medicine if you find yourself under scrutiny by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC).

What Triggers a Medical License Investigation in New York?

The OPMC, part of the New York State Department of Health, is responsible for investigating complaints and allegations of misconduct against physicians, physician assistants, and specialist assistants[1]. These can come from patients, patient family members, colleagues, facilities, insurance companies, and other agencies[2].

According to New York law, a wide range of behaviors can constitute professional misconduct[2]. Some common allegations include:

  • Negligence, incompetence or practicing fraudulently
  • Guaranteeing a cure or treatment outcome
  • Practicing under the influence of drugs/alcohol
  • Criminal convictions
  • Practicing with a disability that impairs abilities
  • Unauthorized services, improper prescribing
  • Improper physician advertising
  • Medicaid/insurance fraud
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Failure to maintain proper medical records

Even minor record-keeping violations can trigger an investigation that quickly spirals into a bigger issue. Some physicians are caught off guard by an OPMC letter over an allegation they never imagined could put their whole career at risk.

Overview of the OPMC Investigation and Disciplinary Process

Here’s a quick rundown of the typical OPMC disciplinary process after a complaint is filed:

  • The OPMC sends a letter informing the physician they are under investigation. Failing to respond constitutes misconduct.
  • An investigator interviews the complainant, gathers records through subpoenas, and conducts other fact-finding.
  • The physician responds to allegations and provides their side of the story in writing.
  • The Medical Conduct Board reviews evidence and makes a determination (e.g. no action needed, reprimand, penalties, etc).
  • If warranted, a formal hearing is scheduled where both sides present evidence and testimony.
  • If found guilty of misconduct, penalties are imposed based on the severity of violations.
  • The final disciplinary action becomes part of the physician’s public record.

As you can see, the stakes are high once the OPMC gets involved. Even if allegations are minor or unfounded, physicians need to take the process seriously right from the start.

Why Hire a Medical License Defense Attorney?

Navigating OPMC investigations and hearings without legal counsel is extremely risky. Here are some key reasons why working with an experienced New York medical license defense lawyer is so critical:

  • Avoid Self-Incrimination: Anything you say to investigators can and will be used against you. An attorney ensures you don’t accidentally make matters worse.
  • Correct Procedural Mistakes: Simple missteps like missing a deadline can lead to additional charges. Your lawyer knows the process inside-out.
  • Negotiate Settlements: An attorney can negotiate agreements or plea bargains to minimize damage to your reputation and career.
  • Level the Playing Field: OPMC has vast resources to build cases against you. A lawyer balances things out.
  • Present the Strongest Defense: Your side of the story and evidence needs to be framed in the best light and delivered effectively.
  • Reduce Penalties: Even if found guilty, skilled representation can help mitigate penalties so you can continue practicing.

Reputable medical license defense attorneys have successfully guided thousands of physicians through OPMC investigations and hearings. Their expertise can make all the difference between saving or losing your license.

What are the Potential Penalties and Consequences?

If found guilty of professional misconduct, a physician may face:

  • Letter of reprimand added to your record
  • Probation period requiring supervision/reporting
  • Monetary fines
  • Additional training or education requirements
  • Practice limitations or restrictions
  • Suspension of your medical license
  • Permanent revocation of your medical license

Even a reprimand can limit your ability to obtain licensure in other states or join healthcare organizations in the future. More serious penalties like suspension/revocation prevent you from practicing medicine entirely.

Any disciplinary outcome also becomes part of your physician profile visible to the public and reporting agencies like the National Practitioner Data Bank. This can severely harm your professional reputation and career prospects.

How Can a Lawyer Defend Against Allegations?

An experienced medical license defense attorney has many strategies to protect your interests:

  • Reviewing and challenging the investigation process and procedures to ensure they were conducted properly.
  • Gathering additional evidence like medical records, statements from staff, or expert opinions to dispute allegations.
  • Negotiating with the OPMC before charges are filed to reach a favorable outcome and avoid a hearing.
  • Filing motions to exclude prejudicial or improper evidence from proceedings.
  • Conducting effective cross-examinations of OPMC witnesses and investigators during hearings.
  • Presenting a strong defense including testimony and evidence that counters the charges.
  • Securing character witnesses from colleagues, employers, patients to demonstrate your capabilities and reputation.
  • Appealing rulings or penalties if the outcome is unsatisfactory.

A combination of meticulous case-building, litigation skills, and understanding of medical practice is needed to achieve the best possible result.

When Should I Call a Medical License Defense Lawyer?

At the first sign of an OPMC investigation, it’s critical to call an attorney immediately. The earlier they can get involved, the more effectively they can manage the process. Don’t wait until charges are filed or a hearing is scheduled.

Many lawyers offer free consultations, so you can discuss your situation and options at no risk. They’ll assess the allegations, explain your rights, and start formulating a defense strategy right away. This can help put your mind at ease during an incredibly stressful time.

Choosing the Right OPMC Defense Attorney

Not all lawyers have the same track record with OPMC cases. When selecting legal counsel, physicians should look for:

  • Extensive experience specifically with OPMC investigations and hearings.
  • In-depth knowledge of New York medical regulations and disciplinary procedures.
  • A proven history of positive outcomes for clients. Look for testimonials and reviews.
  • Strong litigation skills including cross-examination, presenting evidence, and oral arguments.
  • Empathy and compassion – this is your livelihood at stake.
  • Reasonable fees – they should offer flexible payment options.

Don’t leave your career up to chance. Partner with a trusted and reputable New York medical license defense lawyer as soon as possible. They have the right strategies to mitigate allegations and allow you to continue providing quality care to patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

There are options like payment plans or legal insurance that can reduce costs. The damage to your career if you lose your license will be far greater than lawyer fees.

Should I try settling with the OPMC directly?

No, any attempt to resolve the issue without experienced legal counsel often backfires. Let your lawyer handle negotiations.

Can I get my medical license back if it is revoked?

It is possible but very difficult. You generally need to go through an extensive application process and show you have addressed the causes of revocation.

How long does an OPMC investigation take?

It varies by case complexity but generally takes many months to over a year before reaching a resolution. Your attorney keeps the process moving along.

Does the OPMC notify my employer?

They are not required to but will speak with them if relevant to the investigation. Your attorney can advise you on proper communication.


Facing professional misconduct allegations can be daunting for physicians. But with an experienced New York medical license defense lawyer guiding you through the OPMC investigative and disciplinary process, you can rest assured knowing you have the best possible defense. Don’t leave your hard-earned career up to chance – contact a reputable attorney right away for trusted counsel and representation.

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