Oklahoma Physician License Defense

Your most valuable possession as a physician? Your license. We can talk all day long about your sterling bedside manner, your compassion, your dedication, and your work ethic. Without that license, though, none of those other things matter. Your license tells your patients and your community that you're qualified to practice medicine; it's the seal of approval from the state of Oklahoma; the bottom line is it's illegal to practice medicine without it.

Any time your license is threatened, then the situation is serious. It doesn't matter whether someone's raised questions about your continuing education hours, your credentials are being evaluated, or you've been accused of some form of professional misconduct, you can't afford to take any threat lightly.

Under normal circumstances, the Oklahoma Medical Board is an advocate for physicians. If you're under investigation, though? Not so much. In today's social and political climate, a Medical Board can't afford to appear soft on misconduct or other sorts of rule violations. And in Oklahoma, the medical profession is under more political pressure than in most states. Under these conditions, the board becomes an adversary, and it can be a fierce adversary.

Luckily, the state of Oklahoma provides you with important due process rights. One of the most important of these is the right to full representation by an attorney. That means someone from the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team can be at your side from the moment you're charged until you've exhausted your final appeal. Why an attorney from the Lento Law Firm? They've represented hundreds of physicians in license cases. They know how the Oklahoma system works, and they're familiar with all the rules and procedures. In short, they have the knowledge, background, and experience to make sure your rights are protected and you get the very best possible resolution to your case.

The Physician Licensing Process in Oklahoma

Before we get into what happens when your license is threatened, let's talk a little about what it takes to get a physician's license in Oklahoma in the first place. It turns out you don't have to be under investigation to need an attorney's help. The license application process can be complicated, and it helps to have someone who's familiar with the process to guide you through it.

For example, as part of the process, you're required to provide

  • Proof of graduation from an “approved medical school”
  • Proof of at least 12 months of progressive post-graduate medical training in a program approved by the American Council on Graduate Medical Education
  • Full explanations of any academic misconduct or disciplinary action taken against you.

In addition, you must take a “jurisprudence examination” and earn at least 75 percent on it. Further, as part of the application process, the board contacts both the American Medical Association and the Federation of State Medical Boards about your background and credentials. Finally, any member of the board may ask you to provide additional documents related to your credentials, and you could be asked to appear before the board to clarify any part of your record.

Throughout the licensing process, you're expected to provide open, honest answers. Any sort of confusion or misunderstanding can interfere with your chances at a license. In addition, the board carefully considers your “moral character.” Even a small blemish on your record can raise doubts as to your fitness to practice medicine.

Given the board's high standards, the complexity of the process, and just how much is at risk, you are always better off consulting with an attorney from the Lento Law Firm Team as you go through the licensing process. An attorney with the Lento Law Firm can make sure you understand exactly what's expected of you and help you prepare to face any roadblocks that might be thrown your way.

Maintaining Your Medical License

Of course, a medical license isn't something you earn and then forget about. The state of Oklahoma requires you to renew your license annually. This process can be almost as complicated as initially obtaining your license.

As part of the renewal process, for example, the board reviews your record—not just your record over the previous year, but the record of your entire medical career. The board isn't just interested in your professional activities either. You may be subject to a criminal background check, and any aspect of your personal life is open to scrutiny. Even relatively minor issues such as a DUI or a domestic abuse complaint can put your license in jeopardy.

Additionally, you're required by state law to complete Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours. That includes one hour of education in pain management or opioid use each year and 60 hours of additional CME credit every three years. Not just any hours will do, though. Your CME courses must be in Category I as defined by the American Medical Association, and they must be from an approved, accredited institution.

As with licensing applications, the attorneys at the Lento Law Firm understand the Oklahoma renewal system and how it works. They not only know all the forms to fill out and the documentation to submit but can help you stay up to date on any changes in requirements.

If you're looking to renew your license and worried that something in your record might raise issues for the board, contact the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team today at (888) 535-3686 to find out how we can help.

Just What Can Put Your Physician License at Risk?

Obtaining and updating your physician's license every year can be confusing and time-consuming. Responding to a misconduct complaint can be a far more stressful situation, though. Unfortunately, your license can be threatened at any time, even if you're following all the rules and meeting all of your ethical obligations. Virtually anyone can file a complaint against you, and once a complaint has been filed, you can't be certain how an investigation and hearing will end. If the board decides you are Responsible for a violation, it can issue a formal written warning, suspend your license, or even revoke your license altogether.

Further, the list of what qualifies as a violation is long. It can be hard to keep all the rules straight and to make sure you don't make any mistakes.

  • Unprofessional Conduct: This catch-all category can include anything from verbal abuse of a patient to sexual harassment of a colleague. In fact, “unprofessional conduct” is broad enough that it might include almost anything the board decides it includes.
  • Drug Misuse or Mishandling: Obviously, drug abuse or writing prescriptions for yourself would qualify as violations. So too, would over-prescribing medications. Even misuse of prescription samples and failing to properly document a prescription could potentially get you into trouble.
  • Patient Abuse or Neglect: All allegations of abuse—verbal, physical, mental, or sexual—can result in license suspension or revocation. And “Patient neglect” can be especially hard to quantify, which can lead to lots of vague allegations.
  • Fraud: Falsifying records or filing insurance claims for patients who don't exist are egregious violations, but here again, even poorly completed paperwork can subject you to investigation.
  • Violating Doctor-Patient Confidentiality: Sharing patient information is never acceptable, even if it should happen accidentally.
  • Use or Abuse of “Habit-forming Drugs”: Notice that the use of any substance can be a violation if that substance is even potentially “habit-forming.”
  • Criminal Convictions: A conviction of any type, or a confession to the commission of a crime, is grounds for disciplinary action.

Of course, it's your responsibility to follow the law and to abide by all the ethics of your profession. Being a doctor is a position in the public trust, and the expectations of your character and your professionalism are high. However, it's also possible to wind up in trouble through no fault of your own. You can't tell when a simple mistake could raise issues about your abilities. You can't know when a disgruntled patient may call your credentials into question. And even if you've committed a violation, you need to understand that the board isn't always even-handed in how it hands out disciplinary sanctions. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm are on your side, no matter what the situation. They're ready to defend your character if that's what's called for, but they can also play an important role in negotiating fair sanctions.

The Disciplinary Process in Oklahoma

You never want to face an allegation of professional misconduct, but it can happen to anyone, and it doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose your license. The state of Oklahoma gives you the right to defend yourself and provides a clear process for doing so. In addition, state law gives you a number of valuable due process rights.

Here's a basic outline of what you can expect any time you're facing an accusation, followed by a close look at each part of the process.

  1. Cases begin with an official complaint.
  2. Oklahoma Medical Board staff investigate the complaint.
  3. The Board then holds a formal hearing into the matter.
  4. Ultimately, the board determines whether or not you are guilty of an offense and issues sanctions as necessary.


A complaint can come from almost anywhere. This makes them extremely difficult to defend against. You might face complaints from

  • Patients
  • Colleagues
  • Supervisors
  • Employees
  • Other clinic or hospital staff
  • Insurers

In addition, the board itself has the authority to conduct inspections and investigations and to charge you with misconduct.

A charge is not a guilty finding, though, even if it originates with the board. You always have the right to an investigation and a hearing, and the board must operate under its own established rules and procedures.


Under normal circumstances, the board issues you a Notice of Investigation any time it feels a complaint is both credible and actionable. This notice should include details of the allegation, which can be crucial to developing your defense strategy. It should also provide a list of your due process rights.

As part of the investigation, you are required to file a written response to the complaint. In addition, the board has subpoena power and will ordinarily use that to request information from any relevant parties, including the Complainant, any supervisors who might have knowledge of the incident, colleagues, and other institution staff. Finally, they'll collect any physical evidence associated with the case.

You may know that you're innocent, and that might lead you to believe you don't need an attorney during the investigation. Surely, your innocence will be made clear by the investigation itself. Unfortunately, that's not the way the process works. Investigators don't know you're innocent, and they tend to give any and all evidence they come across the worst possible spin.

Attorneys aren't just for representing you at hearings. You need an attorney at your side throughout the investigation to ensure you're treated fairly and that all evidence is given its proper context.


Following the investigation, the board sets a time and date for a formal hearing. The board may also appoint a Trial Examiner to decide issues of procedure. The Examiner might rule, for instance, on the admissibility of evidence, motions for recusal, and motions of dismissal. However, the board itself serves both as the prosecutor and judge in the case. As you might imagine, this can be problematic.

Just as in a criminal court case, you have the right under Oklahoma law to full representation by an attorney at the hearing. An attorney from the Lento Law Firm Team can make arguments on your behalf, file motions, submit evidence, and examine witnesses.

However, a Medical Board Hearing is not a criminal trial. It does follow a similar structure, but there are key differences. Again, there is no separation between the prosecution and the judges. Further, the board itself does not have any legal training. And the board doesn't have to find you guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Instead, it employs a legal standard known as “clear and convincing.” In basic terms, the Board members must find you guilty if they believe the charges against you are more likely to be true than not true.

These differences matter, particularly when it comes to choosing the right attorney to represent you. You don't just need any attorney. You need an attorney who understands the particular elements of Medical Board judicial procedures, who has experience trying cases before a Medical Board, who knows how to use the unique aspects of the process to your advantage, and who—importantly—understands exactly what's at stake. Put simply, you need an attorney from the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team.


Finally, should it determine you are guilty of an offense, the Medical Board has the power to assign you a sanction proportional to the nature of your offense. Possible sanctions include

  • Fines of up to $5,000 per violation
  • Educational training
  • Successful completion of a treatment program
  • Reprimand
  • Censure
  • Restrictions or conditions on your practice
  • Probation
  • License suspension
  • License revocation (with or without the right to reapply)

Why You Need a Physician License Defense Team

Hopefully, it's obvious by this point why you need an attorney at your side any time you're defending your license.

  • It's no exaggeration to say that your entire career is at stake. You cannot practice without a license. Any time your license is threatened, your ability to act as a physician is threatened.
  • A license defense can be an extraordinarily complicated undertaking. It requires the ability to craft a strong defense strategy, experience in collecting and organizing evidence, and knowledge of how to ask questions of witnesses. In addition, it requires an intimate understanding of hearing procedures. It helps to know what and what not to say any time you're questioned, how to conduct yourself during a hearing, and what to do any time you're being treated unfairly. If this sounds like a lot, it is. You're a doctor, not an attorney. You need a professional to help you get through the process.
  • The Medical Board is not on your side in these cases. They face enormous pressure from politicians and the public to make sure no one escapes justice. And, under state law, they're required both to prosecute the case and determine whether or not you're guilty, a clear conflict of interest. Who's on your side, then? The Lento Law Firm Team.

The thing is, not all attorneys are created equal. Many doctors are tempted to hire a local or family attorney to represent them in licensing cases. They believe that such cases are simple and that anyone can do the job. The fact is, as you've seen, these cases are anything but simple, and you need someone on your side who understands the issues and who has experience with the procedures. Licensing is a very particular area of the law. The average attorney hasn't studied the case law. They don't know Oklahoma state regulations. They've probably never represented a client before the Medical Board.

The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team was founded to protect doctors and other professionals. The firm's attorneys are familiar with federal and Oklahoma state law as it applies to doctors, and they stay abreast of all legal developments in the field. They know the American Medical Association's Code of Ethics and the general expectations that come with working in the field of medicine. They've spent years representing physician clients, and they know the system inside and out.

If you're interested in putting your will together, a local attorney may be the very best choice. If you need to defend your medical license, though, you need someone with experience defending medical licenses. You need an attorney from the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team.

Other Physicians License Concerns

One final word: beyond getting, maintaining, and holding on to your medical license, the Lento Law Firm Team can help with many issues related to your profession. Our attorneys' background and understanding of the medical field and the Oklahoma Medical Board make them uniquely qualified to keep you informed and offer advice on a wide range of legal subjects.

Our attorneys stay up to date, for instance, on how the newest technologies, such as AI, are impacting the practice of medicine and how the law is evolving to meet these impacts. They keep track of marijuana bills as they move through the state legislature. They monitor developments in the insurance industry, and they can keep you up-to-date on your professional obligations. The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team knows who sits on the Oklahoma Medical Board. We keep up with how Board members tend to vote and how political developments in the state are affecting Board policy. We're ready to use all of this knowledge to help you navigate the system.

Our attorneys can also help with accreditation issues. It sometimes happens that a university or medical school will lose its accreditation, and that can cause the Medical Board to question your credentials as a physician. Generally, these situations don't involve investigations and hearings. Instead, they're a matter of negotiating reasonable settlements that allow you to protect your license; at the same time, the board can say it's performing its due diligence. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm aren't just here to fight for your rights. They're also skilled in the art of negotiation.

Yes, the Lento Law Firm Team is here for you any time your license is threatened. You don't have to be in the middle of a crisis, though, to call on us for answers.

What Can the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team Do for You?

Your medical license means everything to you. It gives you the right to practice your profession. It certifies that you are qualified and experienced. It lets patients know that you can be trusted. If that license is being threatened in any way, you can't afford to take chances. You absolutely must do everything you can to defend yourself, and that starts with hiring the best legal representation you can.

The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team understands your situation. They've helped hundreds of doctors and other healthcare professionals handle similar situations. They know the law. They've studied it, and they keep up with how it continues to grow and evolve. And they know the licensing system in New Hampshire.

If your license is under threat, don't wait to see what might happen. Begin building your defense now.

To find out more about exactly what the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can do for you, contact us today at 888-535-3686, or use our automated online form.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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