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Why You Should Never Face a Medical Board Investigation Alone – Part II

Contact a Dedicated Medical License Defense Lawyer in Chicago Sooner Rather Than Later

As we explained in Part I of this series, it is just as important to reach out to a medical license defense lawyer in Chicago when you are responding to a letter of inquiry from the state medical board, as it is when you are being named in a malpractice lawsuit. However, the benefits of teaming up with an attorney sooner rather than later are many. First, your lawyer will help you respond in the correct manner – meaning frivolous and inaccurate accusations will usually be dismissed and the investigation closed at this point.

However, if the investigation does proceed further, your attorney will already be familiar with the case, meaning he or she will be able to take further actions in your defense without delay. Conversely, if you wait until after the board’s determination to seek legal counsel, your attorney will have to play catch-up – which can end up costing you time, money, and professional status.

An Example of What Can Happen

A situation occurred where the state board requested a complete copy of a patient’s chart from a physician. Although the board did not request or require that the doctor provide a written narrative or description of the patient’s care, he provided a detailed narrative outlining the patient’s treatment as well as the requested records. Without hearing anything in the interim, one year later, the physician received a letter notifying him that the board’s investigation was now complete and he would be facing disciplinary charges.

What happened? During the year that passed between the records request and the notice of disciplinary action, the state board had been interviewing experts who testified that the physician’s care was below the accepted standard. Based on their experts’ testimony, the board imposed discipline on the license, a significant fine, reimbursement of the costs associated with the investigation, continuing education, and community service.

Contacting the License Defense Attorney

It was at this point that the physician contacted an experienced license defense attorney for assistance. Unfortunately, because his lawyer was not involved in the earlier response to the board and was now having to fight a decision that had already been made, additional expert testimony made on the doctor’s behalf was not enough to reverse the board’s decision. Had this physician consulted with his attorney prior to sending his response, he would have had a much better chance of receiving a favorable outcome, as he could have proffered an expert report supported by literature at the outset.

Our team at Zimmerman Law Offices has a history of successfully defending professional licenses, and as you can see from the example provided, it is always better to consult with us as early as possible whenever your professional license is involved. If you are interested in learning more, please check back for Part III, the last of our series on how to handle state board inquiries and investigations.


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