As a medical professional, maintaining your license is one of the most important aspects of your job. Each state typically has strict rules to follow if you want to renew your medical license or keep it from getting revoked. If you get accused of misconduct, the process can go very quickly. You may have your license revoked or banned before you've fully understood what happened.
In this situation, you might have the option to negotiate with your state's licensing board and agree to have your license retired rather than revoked.
An Oregon Physician Accused of Misconduct Retires His Medical License
Dr. Robert Jack Harder, an OB-GYN in Salem, Oregon, was accused of sexual misconduct earlier this year. As soon as his credentialing institution, Salem Health, found out about the allegations, it reported them to the Oregon Medical Board.
The board started an investigation in early April 2023 and found Dr. Harder responsible for unprofessional or dishonorable conduct. His behavior was considered “conduct unbecoming a person licensed to practice medicine or detrimental to the best interest of the public” and “contrary to the recognized ethics of the medical profession.” He was also found responsible for possibly engaging in sexual misconduct with a patient.
A few days before the investigation began, Dr. Harder resigned from his post with Salem Health. Once the investigation results were finalized in July, Dr. Harder agreed to retire his medical license. He won't reapply for an Oregon medical license and must follow state and federal laws for practicing medicine.
Retiring vs. Revoking a Medical License
If Dr. Harder hadn't agreed to retire his license and not reapply for a new one, the Oregon Medical Board may very well have revoked it. What's the difference between retiring and revoking?
Dr. Harder chose to retire his license—it was part of his agreement with the board. When a medical professional's license gets revoked, on the other hand, they often don't have a choice in the matter. Dr. Harder also has the possibility to seek a new medical license outside of Oregon. It would be harder to get licensed in another state if his license had been outright revoked in Oregon.
What to Do If You Are a Physician Accused of Misconduct
As soon as you learn of the possibility of misconduct allegations against you, you should act. Before you know it, your state's medical board will start an investigation and may ask you to participate in meetings or hearings. You'll want to be prepared for those encounters. You'll also want to know all the options you have in this situation (because the board is unlikely to give you many options if you don't try to negotiate).
By working with a team of Professional License Defense attorneys like the Lento Law Firm, you can better your chances of a more favorable outcome. The team can help you negotiate a better solution and advise on whether retiring or revoking your license would be ideal for you. Call 888-535-3686 today or contact us online to book an appointment.