Becoming a doctor is one of the most rewarding yet challenging career paths to embark on. You have to go through years of school, pass complicated exams, and work through residency programs before even beginning your career. It is not until you successfully complete all of your schooling and survive your residency that you officially get your license and become a doctor. However, once you become a doctor, it is essential to keep your license in good standing in order to continue your practice; losing your license through disciplinary means could be detrimental to your career, reputation, and livelihood.
If you plan on having a long successful career in healthcare, it is essential to avoid any mistakes that could lead to malpractice and the revocation of your medical license. Here are the top 5 most common reasons doctors lose their licenses.
It is crucial for a doctor to be honest and ethical throughout all aspects of their work, especially when working with insurance companies. Make sure you always use the correct insurance codes and never change medical records. It is also unethical to charge uninsured patients different rates than insured patients. If you knowingly do any of these things, you risk criminal charges and losing your medical license.
Proper medication can be one of the best ways for a patient suffering from an illness or injury to heal and maintain their health. As a licensed doctor, you have the power to prescribe medications as you see fit to all of your patients. But with great power comes great responsibility: If a medical licensing board discovers that you are prescribing unneeded medication, prescribing the wrong medication, or abusing your power in any way, they could initiate an investigation and revoke your license immediately.
While working as a doctor is fulfilling, it is also stressful and mentally draining. The physician’s lifestyle can take its toll, and it is not uncommon for doctors to turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with their reality. According to American Addiction Centers, at least 15% of doctors suffer from substance abuse at least once throughout their careers. Data shows that alcohol is one of the most widely abused within the medical community; and since doctors have easy access to potent opioids, prescription pills abuse is also prevalent among doctors.
With that being said, doctors need to be substance-free and level-headed while on the job. Getting caught while under the influence could lead to losing your license and, therefore, your practice. At the same time, if you are honest about your substance abuse, licensing boards will help you find treatment.
A doctor’s responsibility is to treat and care for their patients without judgment. Therefore, it is crucial for doctors to treat each patient with equality and respect. Doctors who discriminate against either patients or staff based on their race, gender, or religion, can lead to significant issues within the licensing board. If, after an investigation, they find you guilty of discrimination, you could lose your license for good.
Abuse and Misconduct
Last but not least, if a doctor is found to be taking advantage of a patient or staff member in a physical, sexual, or abusive manner, or mistreating them in any way that inflicts harm, their license could be revoked. Abuse can be defined as any act of verbal or physical assault, unsolicited sexual advances, or an unethical relationship. As a doctor, you are held with a substantial amount of trust from both patients, families, and staff members. It is vital to uphold your role as a medical care provider and act in an upstanding and respectable fashion.
Keeping on the Straight and Narrow
There are many reasons why doctors end up losing their licenses and ruining their careers. However, if you are careful to follow all of the rules and work ethically, you will have a long and fulfilling career as a doctor.