State Medical Board Reinstated Licenses After Felony Charges
During the past 10 years, the California Medical Board has reinstated the licenses of several physicians who have been convicted of felonies or found guilty of gross negligence, the Orange County Register reports.
According to state records, over the last decade the medical board has revoked the licenses of 1,017 physicians. The revocations included:
- 282Â for negligence;
- 163Â for alcohol or drug abuse;
- 133Â for mental illness;
- 113Â for sexual misconduct; and
- 68Â for criminal convictions.
Process for Reinstatement
Physicians typically must wait three years after losing their medical license to apply for reinstatement, although certain settlement agreements allow them to apply after two years. Physicians are prohibited from applying for reinstatement while incarcerated or on probation.
The California Medical Board has opted for all reinstatement applications to go before an administrative law judge. Before issuing a proposed decision, the judge must consider the physician's:
- Original offense;
- Actions since the discipline;
- Rehabilitative efforts;
- Reputation for honesty; and
- Professional ability.
The medical board then must approve the judge's recommendation. Physicians have the right to appeal the decision.
For its investigation, the Register examined records of 123 physicians who sought reinstatement after losing their licenses for misconduct or negligence.
The medical board reinstated licenses for 66 physicians, including 25 who previously had lost their licenses after a criminal conviction. The prior convictions included:
- Nine for insurance fraud;
- Six for selling or illegally prescribing drugs; and
- Three for sexually abusing patients.
Of the 66 physicians who were reinstated, the investigation found that 16 physicians faced disciplinary action again, primarily for failure to comply with the terms of their probation.During the past 10 years, only one of the reinstated physicians faced board discipline again over allegations of gross negligence (Perkes, Orange County Register, 6/3). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.