What does the professional disciplinary hearing process look like for doctors?

As a doctor, you know that your professional license is critical for your career. If you have been informed of your professional board receiving a letter of complaint about you, you are probably anxious and wondering what the process looks like.

Getting the Help You Need

According to Minnesota statutes, there are many reasons why a medical professional could receive disciplinary action from the medical board.

The most important thing you can do is talk with an experienced attorney who knows how to defend you and help you keep your professional license in Minnesota. A good lawyer will walk you through the process so you can make good decisions and preserve your career.

Disciplinary Process Overview

Although the process involves nuances and individual challenges, in general these are the primary stages:

  • The letter: The process starts with a letter of complaint, usually from a patient who makes a claim of some kind of malpractice or other violation that could result in disciplinary action.
  • The review committee: Once the letter is received, the review board will look it over to determine whether it has merit on the face of it.
  • Information gathering: Assuming the board finds merit in the complaint and the case moves forward, the board will likely seek out more information to get a full understanding of the case. This information can include witness testimony and any physical evidence that could be relevant.
  • The CRC hearing: The CRC (the Complaint Review Committee) will hold a hearing with members of the administrative board. As a physician, you will have the chance to make an opening statement and answer for your actions. At the end of the process, the board will make a decision.
  • Conclusion: If the board rules in your favor, the case is over. If the board chooses disciplinary action against you, you could be suspended, lose your license or suffer other disciplinary penalties.

If the board determines that disciplinary actions should be levied against you, you might not agree. You could refuse to sign the stipulation and your case will proceed as a contested case. This case is still not a technically legal process, but it is handled in the administrative law system.

In fact, most of the process is not technically a legal process. However, you still have legal rights, and an experienced attorney can be instrumental in protecting your interests throughout the administrative process. Do not try to go through this process without the help of an experienced attorney. There is too much at stake.