We Defend Vermont Physicians Licenses
The charms of Vermont life are well known, making Vermont a great state in which to pursue a medical practice. When you made Vermont your professional home, you made a good choice. You've also doubtless invested substantially in your Vermont medical licensure and practice. Medical licenses don't come easy. Nor do medical jobs, practices, and careers. Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, Randolph, Morrisville, and other Vermont locations can support your medical practice, but you've had to earn it. The University of Vermont Medical Center, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Copley Hospital, Gifford Medical Center, and Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital are among the several other hospitals and medical centers out of which you can build a strong medical practice.
You must, though, maintain your Vermont medical license from the Vermont Board of Medical Practice if you are to continue to engage in, build, and enjoy the rewards of your Vermont medical practice. You cannot practice medicine in Vermont without your Vermont medical license. You also won't retain your job or privileges at your Vermont hospital without maintaining your license. If you do not effectively defend and defeat disciplinary charges against your Vermont medical license, you could not only lose your ability to practice in the state but also to obtain a license by reciprocity in other U.S. states. Your medical practice, job, and career are on the line when you face Vermont disciplinary charges.
You likely have many questions as to how to obtain the best possible outcome for your Vermont medical license disciplinary charges. The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team can not only answer your questions but also get you firmly on the road toward your best possible disciplinary outcome. We are available to defend your license and practice in Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, Randolph, Morrisville, or other Vermont locations. Let us help you keep and enjoy your Vermont hospital, clinic, or medical office practice. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for premier Vermont medical license disciplinary defense services.
Vermont Board of Medical Practice Licensure
The Vermont Board of Medical Practice licenses allopathic physicians (MDs), physician assistants (PAs), and podiatrists (DPMs). The statute 26 Vermont Statutes Section 1353 expressly authorizes the Vermont Board of Medical Practice to issue medical licenses. The Board also certifies anesthesiologist assistants and radiologist assistants. In enacting 26 Vermont Statutes Section 1314, Vermont's legislature made it illegal to practice medicine without a license in the state. The statute imposes up to two years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for unauthorized medical practice without a license. You must maintain your Vermont medical license if you expect to continue your medical practice in the state. Let us help you defend disciplinary charges threatening your Vermont medical license.
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Vermont's legislature authorizes the Vermont Board of Medical Practice to issue medical licenses by endorsement. You may have earned your Vermont medical license because you had already received a license in another state that reciprocates with Vermont. If so, that process saved you substantial time and trouble. Your Vermont medical license also grants you reciprocity, meaning a license by endorsement, in many other U.S. states. Reciprocity is a great benefit to your ability to move your medical practice from state to state. But if you suffer discipline in Vermont affecting your license, you'll lose that reciprocity. The stakes in your Vermont disciplinary proceeding are thus bigger than just your ability to practice in Vermont. If you do not address your Vermont disciplinary charges effectively, you could lose your ability to practice across the U.S. Let us help you achieve your best possible outcome now, rather than facing issues in other states later.
Vermont Board of Medical Practice Licensing Authority
Vermont's legislature enacted 26 Vermont Statute Section 1391 to list the qualifications you had to prove in order to obtain your Vermont medical license. Those qualifications included your medical degree, successful completion of your medical residency, that you have not suffered disqualifying discipline in Vermont or other states, and that you are of good character and fitness for the practice of medicine. You didn't get your Vermont medical license without proving those qualifications. And you won't keep or renew your Vermont medical license without continuing to show your character and fitness for practice. You worked hard to get your Vermont medical license. Now let us help you keep it.
Vermont Board of Medical Practice Regulatory Authority
The Vermont Board of Medical Practice has the state legislature's authority not just to license you for medical practice but also to regulate your license, including to revoke or refuse to renew it if you fail to meet the Board's standards. In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1353, the legislature granted the Board the power to conduct disciplinary proceedings against medical licenses. In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1374, the legislature granted the Board the express power to revoke medical licenses based on findings made in those disciplinary proceedings. You earned your Vermont medical license. Now, prepare to defend your Vermont license against disciplinary charges by retaining our premier License Defense Team.
Vermont Board of Medical Practice Disciplinary Actions
The Vermont Board of Medical Practice makes its disciplinary findings in written orders for suspension, revocation, or other discipline, including the grounds for discipline. The Board then publishes those disciplinary actions on its website for anyone to read. Know that if you suffer discipline, your family members, friends, acquaintances, professional colleagues, patients, patients' family members, employer, and hospitals where you hold staff privileges can all read about the grounds for your discipline. You won't likely be able to keep your discipline confidential. The impact on your job, career, practice, and reputation from discipline can be substantial, even if the discipline itself does not involve license suspension or revocation interrupting or ending your practice. We can help you defend your disciplinary charges for the best possible outcome.
Vermont Physician Disciplinary Sanctions
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1374, the Vermont legislature authorized the Vermont Board of Medical Practice to impose any one or more of several different sanctions. Those sanctions include a reprimand entered as a public record, an administrative penalty of $1,000 for each violation of the Board's standards, condition the license on the physician's satisfaction of imposed terms, limit or restrict the license, license suspension, license revocation, and to “take such other action relating to discipline or practice as the Board determines appropriate.” Lots of bad things can happen if the Board finds that you violated its licensing standards. Take the disciplinary charges seriously, letting us help you defend them.
Don't, though, let the Board's discretion to do pretty much as it pleases discourage you from defending your disciplinary charges. Just the opposite may well be true: the Board's discretion can work very much in your favor. When you retain our attorneys to communicate and negotiate with the Board's disciplinary officials, our attorneys may be able to show those officials that they can carry out their duties to protect patients and the public without having to suspend or revoke your medical license. You may be ready, willing, and able to accept a professional mentor relationship, undergo remedial training, submit to counseling or a medical or mental examination, or simply assure the officials that you have corrected whatever those officials believe needed correction. We may be able to help you negotiate creative, non-punitive terms for dismissal of your disciplinary charges so that you can retain your license, job, and practice.
Grounds for Vermont Board of Medical Practice Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed the many grounds on which the Vermont Board of Medical Practice's disciplinary officials may impose discipline. The more than three dozen grounds are too many to list and discuss here. Appreciate that the Board's officials have many bases on which they may proceed. You practice medicine in a very highly and closely regulated environment. But also appreciate that you may well have a defense to the charges, no matter their nature. You may have exonerating evidence or mitigating circumstances that our attorneys can help you present and argue for your best outcome. Consider a few of the main grounds for discipline and how we may be able to help you defend those grounds.
Credentials Fraud as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “fraud or misrepresentation in applying for or procuring a medical license or in connection with applying for or procuring periodic renewal of a medical license” as grounds for discipline. Credentials fraud can be a serious disciplinary charge when the applicant did not have the qualifications for safe medical practice. Credentials fraud may include misrepresenting the medical degree, medical residency, or character and fitness issues like the absence of prior discipline, a criminal record, or substance abuse issues or physical or mental impairments. Defending credentials fraud charges may require proving all statements true, proving false statements to be immaterial to the qualifications, proving false statements to be unintentional, and proving misleading omissions to be the same.
False Advertising as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed advertising that “has a tendency to deceive the public or impose upon credulous or ignorant persons and so be harmful or injurious to public morals or safety” as grounds for discipline. False advertising may include false claims that a medical procedure guarantees healing, has no risks or side effects, and is painless, or that the physician has had no adverse experiences. Defense may depend on showing that the physician did not make the statements, that the statements were true, or that the statements were immaterial to the patient's decision to accept examination and treatment.
Patient Abandonment as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “abandonment of a patient” as grounds for discipline. Patient abandonment may include failing or refusing to treat a patient the physician knows requires treatment, when the physician has the available means to treat and owes a duty to treat, but refuses, whether out of laziness, retaliation, or other undue cause. Defense may depend on showing that the allegations are untrue, that the patient was not the physician's patient to treat, that the patient did not require treatment, or that the physician lacked the available means.
Drug or Alcohol Abuse as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “habitual or excessive use or abuse of drugs, alcohol, or other substances that impair the licensee's ability to practice medicine” as grounds for discipline. Substance abuse can be a serious charge, especially if the physician has practiced or attempted to practice while under the influence or has diverted controlled substances. Defense may depend on showing that the complaining witness is mistaken or lacks credibility, that the physician did not abuse alcohol or drugs, that the witness observed an innocent condition such as a medication reaction or other one-time event rather than substance abuse, or that the physician has addressed the condition.
Vermont, like many other states, offers a diversion program for physicians who suffer from addictions or other impairments, placing their medical practice at risk. The Vermont Practitioner Health Program may be a reasonable option for you, if your disciplinary charges involve drug or alcohol abuse or other impairing conditions. But do not accept diversion without our attorneys' review, lest you unintentionally or unwisely relinquish or jeopardize your license. Many of these programs require license suspension or suspension or restriction of practice, or impose onerous terms that the physician may not be able to satisfy, resulting in loss of the license. Let us help you evaluate whether the diversion program is for you and, if so, ensure that your terms are appropriate and reliably documented.
Unfitness as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “conduct that evidences unfitness to practice medicine” as grounds for discipline. This category is so broad as to make the charges potentially subjective and difficult to defend. Examples of unfitness could include mental or physical impairment, issues with the physician's dress, hygiene, or demeanor, including colleague disrespect and supervisor insubordination, and conduct or character presenting a threat to patients, such as domestic violence, pornography, or disorderly conduct. Defending the charges may involve proving the allegations untrue and the complaining witness unreliable, or proving the conduct to have been a one-time anomalous event explained by an innocent medication reaction or similar correctable cause.
False Reports as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “willfully making and filing false reports or records in his or her practice as a physician” as grounds for discipline. False reports could include such things as recording services not performed or diseases not diagnosed, defrauding medical insurers, or covering up malpractice or other irregularities by making false record entries or altering entries. Defending the charges may involve proving the entries to be true, proving that others made the false entries without the physician's involvement, or proving the entries to be mistakenly inaccurate rather than deliberately false.
Fee Divisions as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “division of fees or agreeing to split or divide the fees received for professional services for any person for bringing to or referring a patient” as grounds for discipline. Fee division suggests an inappropriate profit-making motive for practice, rather than the goal of healing. Defending fee division allegations would generally require proving the allegations to be untrue or showing that the fee division was only between duly licensed professionals and otherwise lawful and appropriate for services each professional actually performed.
Unauthorized Practice as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “practicing medicine with a physician who is not legally practicing within the State, or aiding or abetting such physician in the practice of medicine” as grounds for discipline. Unauthorized practice is a concern because of the potential for unqualified and, therefore, unsafe practice. An example would be a physician who urges and assists a nurse or aide in the practice of medicine, or who hires and employs in practice a physician whose license officials have revoked or suspended. Defending the charge would generally require showing that the unlicensed person did not practice medicine or that the accused physician did not urge, assist, or know the person was practicing medicine.
Incompetence as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “professional incompetency resulting from physical or mental impairment” as grounds for discipline. Professional incompetence would ordinarily include acts outside the customary practice, particularly those that endanger or injure patients. Medical malpractice settlements and judgments could trigger such disciplinary charges. But here, the statute ties the incompetence to the physician's own physical or mental impairment. Defense may thus depend on showing that the physician was not impaired, that any impairment was not related to safe practice, or that any impairment was temporary and corrected without endangering patients.
Gross Failure in Care as Grounds for Vermont Physician Discipline
In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1354, the Vermont legislature listed “gross failure to use and exercise on a particular occasion or the failure to use and exercise on repeated occasions, that degree of care, skill, and proficiency that is commonly exercised by the ordinary skillful, careful, and prudent physician engaged in similar practice under the same or similar conditions, whether or not actual injury to a patient has occurred” as grounds for discipline. This ground would support disciplinary charges over medical malpractice settlements or judgments, although the statute does not require injury. Missed diagnoses, incorrect treatment, wrong medication, and the like would be examples. Defense may require testimony from a medical expert opining that the care was within the broader accepted standard.
Vermont Physician Disciplinary Procedures
You generally have a constitutional right to due process in any proceeding in which the Vermont Board of Medical Practice seeks to interfere with your liberty and property in your medical license. The Vermont legislature thus provides for appropriate protective procedures in the event you face medical license disciplinary charges. In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1372, the legislature guarantees you notice and a hearing before a properly constituted hearing panel on any serious disciplinary charges. In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1373, the legislature provides for the hearing panel to take evidence, giving you the opportunity to present your own witnesses in defense while cross-examining adverse witnesses. In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1375, the legislature guarantees the accused physician the right to subpoena (compel) witnesses to attend the hearing and testify. In 26 Vermont Statute Section 1367, the legislature guarantees the accused physician the right to appeal an adverse decision to the Vermont Supreme Court.
These protective procedures are not self-executing. Someone must generally invoke them on your behalf, holding the disciplinary officials accountable to follow them. The state's administrative procedures also generally require skilled and experienced representation because they are administrative rather than court procedures. Our attorneys have the requisite administrative procedure skills and experience. We can invoke these procedures on your behalf, communicating and negotiating with disciplinary officials, calling and cross-examining witnesses, presenting exhibits, and taking necessary appeals after any adverse decision. Don't go it alone, and don't retain unqualified counsel. Let us help.
Premier License Defense Available in Vermont
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available for your disciplinary defense in Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, Randolph, Morrisville, and other Vermont locations. We can help you whether you practice at the University of Vermont Medical Center, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Copley Hospital, Gifford Medical Center, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, or another Vermont medical facility. Hundreds of medical and other professionals nationwide have trusted the Lento Law Firm for their best outcome to disciplinary charges. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now.