Physicians practicing medicine in Pennsylvania must have a license. The same is true of nurses, chiropractors and many other medical professionals. To obtain your job, you needed to complete specialized training and pass a state test. You had to submit documentation to the relevant licensing board.
You also pay a fee for the privilege of retaining your license or renewing it when the time comes. You must commit to continuing education and submit documentation in a timely manner when you must renew your existing license.
Despite meeting all of the criteria to have a medical license and despite what you believe is a successful career in the medical field, your profession could be at risk if an individual patient or one of their family members brings a personal complaint against you.
Licensing boards give the public a chance to make their case
If a patient feels like you mistreated them or made a major mistake while providing them with care, they could complain to your employer. If the hospital or medical practice doesn’t take them seriously enough, they may take additional steps to hold you accountable for what they perceive as unprofessional behavior or possibly professional malpractice.
There are relatively simple reporting options, such as calling to file a complaint or submitting one online. People could complain about everything from a minor mistake you made at the end of a double shift to a slip of the tongue that they mistook as intentional rudeness. The complaints submitted could trigger an investigation and lead to a disciplinary hearing in front of the licensing board.
How can you defend yourself against patient complaints?
There are numerous strategies that can help a professional hoping to defend their license. The nature of the complaint against them will have a major role in the kind of defense that they pursue. Bringing in witnesses who present a different version of the story involved in the complaints to presenting statistics that show a very high success rate and negligible failure rates could help.
Many medical professionals choose to partner with an attorney for any disciplinary hearings they face in front of a licensing board, as such proceedings could have lasting consequences for their careers. Understanding why your professional license might be at risk can help you better respond to disciplinary summons.