Let the Lento Law Firm Help You Defend Your Medical License
Have you been informed that the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure may revoke your license? If so, you're undoubtedly concerned about what the future may hold. After all, you've worked hard for years to secure a medical career, and one complaint could be enough to derail your prospects.
At the Lento Law Firm, we don't believe a single mistake should threaten your entire future. We believe that every physician deserves a chance to protect their reputation and prospects. We're committed to representing physicians at every stage in their careers, no matter what type of accusations they face and how serious the implications may be.
If you've received notice that your license is under threat, you need to act now. At the Lento Law Firm, our Professional License Defense Team is waiting to help you protect your reputation and right to practice medicine. Call us now at 888.535.3686 or reach out online to schedule a meeting.
The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure
In MS, the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure is responsible for issuing, reviewing, and ultimately revoking medical licenses across the state. Its mission is to “ensure the protection of the health, safety and welfare of Mississippians through implementation and enforcement of laws involving the licensing and regulation of physicians.” More specifically, the Board plays the following role in preserving healthcare standards:
- Receiving and reviewing complaints against physicians.
- Managing, verifying, and processing license applications.
- Helping physicians understand the standard expected of them and which laws they must follow.
- Conducting disciplinary proceedings to enforce remedial action or suspend, restrict, or revoke licenses.
- Hearing petitions for license reinstatement.
The Board derives its authority from Title 73, Chapter 25 of the Mississippi Code (the Mississippi Medical Practice Act). Every physician must follow the rules provided by, for example, individual health facilities. They must also follow the Board's Administrative Code and Board Policies. Finally, they must abide by the relevant provisions of the Mississippi Code.
As the Board exists to protect the public, it takes any potential complaint against a physician seriously. The consequences of a professional allegation can be severe.
Protect Your Physician License
When you graduate from medical school, you enter one of the world's most prestigious and valued professions. Your license is proof of your commitment, skill, competency, and dedication. You've worked incredibly hard for your qualifications – and no doubt made many sacrifices along the way – and you deserve to protect your license.
You need to appreciate what your license means and how much it's worth to robustly defend complaints and accusations. You need to value your own skills and the life you've built for yourself and your loved ones to give yourself the best chance of success. And you deserve, at every stage, effective legal counsel to help you protect your right to practice medicine.
Don't underestimate how much your professional license is worth. If your license is in jeopardy, retain our Professional License Defense Team now.
Allegations Which Could Jeopardize Your Physician License
As a physician, you're in a position of trust and authority. Given the wide range of responsibilities you have, there's almost no limit to the types of complaints that could be made against you. The good news is that not every complaint results in disciplinary action. In fact, many allegations can be dismissed at an early stage.
However, there are certain types of allegations that could result in license suspension, restriction, or revocation. The grounds for taking action against your license include:
- Breach of confidentiality or patient trust (unless it's legally justified).
- Care falling below the standards reasonably expected of a healthcare professional.
- Endangering the life of a patient.
- Drug, alcohol, or substance abuse.
- Unauthorized prescribing of narcotics.
- False or fraudulent prescriptions.
- Conviction of certain felony offenses (including narcotics distribution).
- Financial gain made from deceiving patients into believing a terminal condition is treatable.
- Exaggerated, misleading, and flamboyant claims about the physician's competency and experience.
- Any conduct likely to defraud or manipulate the public.
In short, any allegations of professional incompetency or misconduct may lead to license restrictions. That's why it's so important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity so you can focus on defending the allegations rather than worrying about your future.
What Physician License Disciplinary Action Means
If you're notified of a complaint against you or you're summoned to a Board hearing, do not panic. Just because the Board is investigating a complaint or allegation does not mean it will find you guilty. A notification is just what it seems – a notice that the Board is investigating a matter involving you.
At this point, you need to prepare to defend yourself. After all, the Board has not reached a decisionyet, so this is your time to explain your side of the story eloquently and effectively. So, once you receive notice of licensing board investigations or disciplinary action, do the following.
- Make sure you understand the nature of the complaint and the allegations made. The Board should provide you with sufficient information to build a defense and counter the complaint.
- Gather as much evidence as you can. This might be, for example, medical records, notes, emails, or recordings. It's also helpful to have witnesses who can vouch for you.
- Contact the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. The sooner you contact our experienced attorneys, the quicker we can help you secure the most favorable possible outcome.
Don't be tempted to ignore the allegations in the hope that they disappear. Any challenges to your license must be handled decisively and quickly.
The Nature of Disciplinary Charges Against Physicians in Mississippi
It's important to understand what a hearing before the Medical Board in MS means. To be clear, these are not criminal or civil proceedings. In other words, a license hearing does not mean you're being sued or facing criminal charges.
The hearing is administrative. It's non-judicial, so there's no judge or jury involved. Instead, it's conducted by a government agency with the authority to adjudicate over certain matters – in this case, medical licensure in Mississippi. However, administrative hearings are no less significant than civil or criminal cases, depending on the outcome. If you lose your license, you lose your livelihood – this must be taken just as seriously as any possible criminal penalty.
Administrative hearings are separate from civil or criminal cases. In some more complex cases, you could still face separate criminal charges or be sued in criminal court. The administrative hearing relates solely to licensure issues and whether you can practice medicine.
Disciplinary Process: Complaints and Initial Investigations
Every license disciplinary action begins with a complaint of some kind. Usually, complaints come from patients or their family members. However, anyone – including colleagues – can make a complaint.
There's a clear process for handling complaints against physicians in Mississippi. The investigations normally proceed as follows.
- The Board receives a complaint and assigns it to a caseworker or “analyst”.
- The analyst notifies the physician of the complaint and requests a response. They conduct preliminary investigations before passing the case on to the Medical Coordinator (MC).
- The MC conducts an informal meeting, or conference, with the physician. The case may be dismissed at this point or proceed to a committee review.
- The Complaint Review Committee may determine that the case should be dismissed or that further action is required. This may include a formal hearing and the imposition of disciplinary measures, e.g., license revocation.
Defending Physician License Disciplinary Action in Mississippi
Every complaint is different, and so every physician requires a different strategy to move their case toward the most favorable conclusion. In all cases, though, you need to have complete confidence in your defense strategy if you're facing license revocation or suspension in MS. That's why you need an attorney's help before responding to Board correspondence or attending an administrative hearing.
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm works with physicians to devise bespoke, effective defense strategies for every case. We will explain what options are open to you and guide you toward making the right decision for your future. Whether you decide to agree to remedial action or you plan on fighting the allegations all the way, we will ensure you have complete confidence in the process.
Defending professional license investigations is complex. Our experienced attorneys will ensure that you feel informed, empowered, and confident in how you proceed.
State Medical Board Hearings
Hearings are most common if the Board is considering serious action such as license revocation or if the Board suspends your license immediately, pending a full investigation. However you arrive at a Board hearing, this forum is your opportunity to present your case effectively and eloquently. It's your chance to demonstrate why the accusations are false, unfounded, or exaggerated, or why the proposed punishments should be mitigated.
At the hearing, your attorney will present your evidence, cross-examine the Board's witnesses, and refute the evidence against you. Following the hearing, you will receive notice of the decision in writing. At this point, it's crucial that you discuss the outcome with your attorney – if you're dissatisfied with the decision, you can often appeal it.
Your Side of the Story Matters
When you're facing license disciplinary action, you may feel like your side of the story doesn't matter. You may be concerned that the case has already been decided against you. But you need to understand that telling the Board your version of events is critical. You deserve the chance to be heard and to be treated fairly, no matter what the accusations are against you. Never lose sight of this. Always have faith that your license is worth fighting for.
There is, of course, a clear need for a regulatory agency like the Medical Board to exist. Officials do a commendable job of keeping the public safe and ensuring that all physicians in MS work to a high standard. However, the Board does appreciate that not all accusations are true. They understand that allegations can be completely fabricated or based on nothing more than a miscommunication. They will listen to your case and base their decision on the facts and evidence presented to them. It's in your best interests to build the strongest possible case beforehand, which is where the Lento Law Firm can help.
Legal Actions the State Board Can Take Against Physicians
The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure has wide discretion for imposing punishments and restrictions on physicians. Actions may be corrective or disciplinary.
Corrective actions are less formal. The physician agrees to undertake some remedial actions – such as education or counseling – and they enter into a formal agreement with the Board to this effect. Disciplinary actions are more serious. They range from written reprimands to license revocation.
Specific actions the Board may take include:
- Requiring the physician to receive counseling or medical care for, e.g., substance abuse, mental health issues.
- Reprimanding the physician for the alleged misconduct or malpractice.
- Suspending a physician's license for a determined period.
- Restricting a physician's license, e.g., they must be supervised, or they are placed on probation.
- Revoking a physician's license so they cannot practice medicine.
These are only some of the more common sanctions the Board may impose after an administrative hearing. However, what's obvious is that the Board has a significant amount of power over a physician's practice. You must obtain legal advice if your license is under threat to, where possible, mitigate the outcome or exonerate you.
Consequences of License Disciplinary Action
The most obvious consequence of license disciplinary action is, of course, losing your medical license. However, there are many consequences associated with a Board decision going against you or even the preliminary investigations.
- Even if you're able to return to work, your confidence and faith in your ability to perform your job well may be severely dented. This lack of confidence could affect your performance, which leads to a vicious cycle of suboptimal performance and self-doubt.
- Colleagues, however well-meaning, may treat you differently after a disciplinary matter. This could create a culture of suspicion and distrust at work, and your professional relationships may suffer.
- Disciplinary action goes on your professional record. Any license issue could jeopardize your prospects of securing a promotion or other job opportunity in the future.
- Relationships with family and friends may deteriorate if you're not feeling like yourself or if you lose your livelihood after a license revocation.
Undoubtedly, there's a significant amount at stake if you're subject to a license disciplinary action. You deserve the chance to pursue your career with confidence and reach your full potential. Our Professional License Defense Team can help you move forward with your career.
Appealing Physician License Disciplinary Action in MS
Even if the Board opts to revoke or suspend your license, or impose another sanction on your clinical practice, it's not the end of the matter. You have the right to appeal the Board's decision.
You have the right to seek a judicial review of the outcome within 30 days of the Board's decision. The local chancery court for your county hears the case. If the local chancery court grants your appeal, your license can be reinstated, and/or the disciplinary action will end. However, the chancery court could affirm the Board's decision, in which case the punishment stands unless you can petition a higher court such as the Supreme Court.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may still, after a reasonable period, petition for license reinstatement. This petition will involve proving that you have the clinical competency and skill to resume your duties. What constitutes a “reasonable” period is not defined in the Mississippi Code, but your attorney can explain what it could mean in your circumstances.
Why You Need a Professional License Defense Attorney
Although physicians have a right to legal representation at Board hearings, they may be tempted to handle the matter alone. There are, however, risks associated with handling your own defense. Here are the main reasons why you should hire our Professional License Defense Team to help you defend against Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure allegations.
- The Board is a specialized public agency. It regularly conducts administrative hearings and takes frequent action against doctors. Given the Board's experience in pursuing disciplinary action, physicians are at a disadvantage if they do not retain their own experienced counsel.
- Mississippi laws can be complex. If you do not have experience in conducting administrative hearings, there's a risk you will not put forward the most effective defense. You may be unsure about the rules of evidence or how to present a compelling case in law and fact. An experienced attorney will handle the legal complexities so you can focus on moving forward.
- Although you can appeal Board decisions, there's no guarantee an appeal will be successful. It's far better to try to have the charges dismissed or reduced before the Board reaches a final decision. Having an attorney on your side is your best chance of meeting the required burden of proof and negotiating the most favorable outcome.
When it comes to your medical license, don't leave anything to chance. Your livelihood is at stake – call the Lento Law Firm to defend it.
How the Lento Law Firm Can Help You Defend Your Medical License
At the Lento Law Firm, our goal is to resolve your license issue informally. We strive to help our clients return to work with minimal disruption to their careers, reputations, and livelihoods. Where possible, we'll negotiate with Board officials to have the allegations dismissed outright or make the case for an informal settlement with less serious long-term consequences.
If an informal settlement is not possible, we will be your strongest advocates at any administrative hearing. We will devise an effective defense strategy, help you gather mitigating or exonerating evidence, and present arguments in your favor. If necessary, our attorneys will guide you through the appeals process and take every step available to protect your right to practice.
You deserve a fair shot at protecting your physician's license. The Lento Law Firm can help you through the process. We are here whenever you need us.
Areas We Serve in Mississippi
Our team works across MS to defend physicians against license disciplinary action. No matter your specialty or level of experience, we can represent you. We serve physicians anywhere in Mississippi, including:
We represent physicians working at any medical facility, including Baptist Medical Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Forrest General Hospital, and St. Dominic Memorial Hospital.
Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm
When your medical license is in jeopardy, it's understandable to feel overwhelmed and alone. You may feel like the odds are stacked against you and that losing your license is inevitable. The good news is that this is untrue. With an experienced license defense attorney on your side, you can even the playing field against the Board. You can defend your license with confidence, reassured that you are doing everything possible to protect your livelihood.
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm cares about protecting your right to practice medicine. We will advocate on your behalf, negotiate with the Board, and present the most compelling case in your favor. We will ensure your constitutional rights are upheld, and we will compel the Board to follow due process. Where possible, we will move to have the charges against you dismissed or the punishment mitigated. We will guide you through the entire process – you're never alone with us on your side.