It’s never easy to learn you’ve been complained about to your licensing board or commission. At the very least, it can cause a great deal of stress to know that your ability to practice, your career, and even your livelihood is at stake. Many people in this position feel confused, afraid, and even angry. Depending on your profession (and therefore which board, commission, or agency has governance over your professional license), you may be informed of the identity of the person who made the complaint. But in many cases you will not.
Being accused by an unidentified person sometimes has the odd effect of causing even further stress. It is by no means immediately apparent to most people how they can manage to craft an effective response to a complaint when they are not even sure who has made it—and therefore are unclear on which event, precisely, they are supposed to be responding to. Paranoia can seep in, and often a professional facing a complaint and the potential of disciplinary actions decides to attempt to discover and seek out the person who made that complaint—if only to try to make amends in an unofficial capacity.
Sadly, while this latter tactic may actually be based in a laudable impulse, it is vital that a professional under investigation refrain from taking such action—particularly if that professional works in the medical profession. The Texas Medical Board and the Texas Board of Nursing are both under obligation to maintain the confidentiality of complainants. The rationale for this is that it will keep members of the public from fearing to report violations of law or of Board rules. (The rule requiring these Boards keep complainants confidential does have an exception, however: where complaints are filed by either insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies, the Boards can disclose their identity to the physician under investigation.)
No matter whether a professional is able to determine the identity of their accuser, they should never contact them. It could have tremendously deleterious effect on the outcome of their case.
Indeed, professionals should avoid dealing with any element of a formal complaint on their own. Most often a licensee is far too close to the situation to be able to respond with the proper amount of objectivity. It is best to engage an experienced professional license defense attorney at the earliest possible point in the process.
If your professional license is under attack, give us a call. Our law firm helps professionals keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a Texas agency, board, or commission. With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve professionals all over the state. As experienced attorneys, well-versed in state administrative and licensure laws, we know how to win. Our results speak for themselves!
If you are facing disciplinary action, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.