A physician who receives notice of an investigation having been launched by the Texas Medical Board is in a precarious position. The stress this causes can be extreme. After all, physicians toil for years to earn their medical licenses and do their earnest best to provide their patients with the best possible medical care. Allegations—in the form of a formal complaint—that the physician has violated the standard of care, has violated the Texas Medical Practice Act, has broken a Board rule, or has engaged in some form of misconduct, can feel like a personal attack on the very soul of a physician.
As such, an initial reaction of a surprising number of physicians we meet with is to ignore the notice or to simply presume that, given that the allegations are false, they will naturally be found to be free of blame. But these notices of investigation are utterly serious. The Board exists to protect the public, not to take the side of physicians—and therefore, it is unlikely to consider any complaint lightly or dismiss it outright (unless the complaint falls outside its jurisdiction to consider). Indeed, the initial decision to dismiss comes before any investigation is announced—so that ship has sailed by the time the investigation notice has been sent.
Instead, the physician should prepare for battle. First, they should be aware that the specifics of the allegations may not have been included in the notice. They should make sure their malpractice insurance coverage will cover things such as expert witness fees and legal expenses accrued during a defense against a Board complaint. Then they must prepare to write their initial rebuttal, assuming they choose to submit something in writing. Or, better yet, contact us to help them do so. But they should do so immediately! The supporting exhibits are due 15 days before the first Settlement Conference—and the more time we have to help prepare it, the better the chance that we will be able to create a favorable first impression of the physician with the Board, and even contain the scope of the investigation, which gives the best possible opportunity for the case to come out in the physician’s favor.
Contact an experienced attorney if you’re under investigation by the Texas Medical Board
The attorneys at BERTOLINO LLP are experienced medical license defense attorneys. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your license. BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed medical professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.