Medical Board Hearings
Part of a physician’s career sometimes entails dealing with matters that go before the medical board, and the attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group ensure they never have to go it alone. We’ve represented doctors with medical board hearings, administrative complaints, investigations, licensure appeals, suspensions and other disciplinary actions. Our healthcare legal team is dedicated to the defense of licensed healthcare professionals and fight aggressively to help doctors protect their licenses, livelihood and reputation.
Administrative complaints against doctors typically seek to discipline a physician or remove their license. In either case, the physician has the right to request a hearing. The request must be submitted within a specified time frame or the right to a hearing will be waived. Two types of hearings are available: an informal hearing in front of the medical board or a formal hearing in front of administrative law judge.
With more than 10 years’ in the legal healthcare field, the lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group are experienced in medical licensing defense with regard to both types of hearings. Once we review the facts of your case, we can help you determine which type of hearing is best suited for your circumstances.
If you received an administrative complaint, it’s imperative to contact our licensing defense lawyers immediately. This ensures you not only choose the proper hearing for your situation, but that you also preserve your rights by filing your request for a hearing in a timely manner.
Informal Hearing in Front of the Medical Board
Informal hearings are held before the medical board. Because the Board of Medicine neither reviews nor decides facts at informal hearings, this type of hearing is for cases where the facts are not being disputed. Doctors who choose informal hearings are not challenging the facts alleged in the administrative complaint and are instead entering into a settlement agreement with the board. While informal hearings are well-suited for some situations, it is typically not the best option for most of them.
Even if you don’t dispute the allegations put forth in the administrative complaint, seeking help from a qualified attorney can be extremely useful. An experienced legal team may be able to negotiate a more favorable resolution or settlement of the complaint. In some cases, we may be able to have a letter of reprimand issued instead of formal action, greatly reduce sanctions or monitoring requirements, or have the case dismissed altogether.
Formal Hearing in Front of an Administrative Law Judge
Formal hearings are held before an administrative law judge, and they give you a chance to dispute the allegations. Similar to court proceedings, formal complaints are held before a judge. They also adhere to the rules of evidence, procedure and administrative law code. You also have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, present evidence and call your own witnesses to the stand.
Once a formal hearing is complete, the judge issues a recommended order to the medical board. The board then submits a final order. If the doctor disagrees with the judge’s recommended order, they have a chance to submit exceptions to the board. If the doctor disagrees with the final order issued by the medical board, they can file an appeal with the district court of appeals.
While formal hearings provide ample opportunity to present your case and challenge allegations, they require knowledge of evidentiary laws and administrative code to achieve the most favorable outcome. Physicians who retain attorneys are more likely to achieve favorable outcomes than those that represent themselves. The lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group are experienced in medical board hearings and have effectively helped many doctors protect their medical license.
Standard of Proof
For the state to succeed at an administrative hearing, it must meet a much higher standard of proof than the one required for an administrative complaint. This means doctors may succeed at a formal hearing even if they would have not succeeded against an administrative complaint. This can occur if the state lacks sufficient evidence to prove the claims outlined in the complaint.
Importance of Legal Representation at Hearings
Even if representing yourself at a medical board hearing seems straightforward and easy, doctors tend to have more favorable results when they hire a seasoned licensing defense attorney. It’s crucial to represent your argument in the best possible light, stressing that you are safe to practice and not a danger to the public. Doctors that choose to represent themselves often find this is a difficult feat to accomplish.
Formal hearings require you know the facts of your case as well as proper procedures. You must also be able to spot issues with the opposing party’s argument. You must present a strong argument while articulating why the opposing party has failed to substantiate the allegations.
Informal hearings also require knowledge of the required rules that must be followed. Presenting your case demands knowledge of the facts, along with strong communication skills and adherence to board procedures.
When your medical license is on the line, it’s wise not to trust it to anyone other than an experienced lawyer qualified to handle hearings before the board or before a judge. The lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group are at your service. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.