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Substance Abuse & Medical Licensure

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2017 | Healthcare License Defense

Substance abuse affects many licensed professionals’ livelihoods. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of professional licensees affected by drug and alcohol related convictions keep their licenses. Unfortunately, many medical licensees seek the help of a criminal attorney for the conviction, but fail to retain experienced medical license defense counsel. Healthcare licensees have a much higher probability of keeping their licenses and their livelihood if they consult with a professional license defense attorney early on.

Recent news has highlighted several medical malpractice cases. Based on the Medical Board of California reports, histories of substance abuse have recently impacted two California doctors’ eligibility to practice medicine.

Doctor X* first earned her Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate from the Medical Board of California in 1997. For over twenty years, Doctor X has held a valid medical license to practice medicine in the state of California. However, throughout her twenty years as a practicing physician, she has struggled with substance abuse. In addition to two substance abuse programs abroad, in 2009 and 2014 respectively, Doctor X has also sought out treatment in Southern California from two rehabilitation centers. Despite attempts to remain sober, Doctor X was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010 and again in 2016. In response to Doctor X’s alcohol addiction and repeat-offense driving under the influence of alcohol, the Medical Board of California placed Doctor X’s license on interim suspension in April of this year. The Medical Board is now revisiting the case to determine if Doctor X should remain on suspension, if her medical license should be permanently revoked, or if alternative action should be taken.

In 1994, Doctor Y** was granted a license to practice psychiatry from the Medical Board of California. Doctor Y’s psychiatry practice is located in Southern California, where he was found passed out due to drug use in May 2014. It was determined that this event was the result of amphetamines in conjunction with an antipsychotic, referred to as Saphris. Prior to this 2014 incident, Doctor Y had struggled with substance abuse and entered a California treatment program in 2007. Over the following seven years, his addiction re-developed until he was found passed out in 2014. Doctor Y then entered a California rehabilitation program in June 2014. Doctor Y’s license was placed on probation by the Medical Board of California. However, the psychiatrist failed to meet the terms of his probation and was suspected of using amphetamines again in 2016. This month, in July 2017, the Medical Board of California made the decision to revoke Doctor Y’s license. He may not reapply for admittance to the Medical Board for at least three years.

Although not always highlighted in the public eye, alcohol and drug abuse can create major adversity for licensed physicians and other medical professionals. Certain cases of substance abuse may cause the court or licensing board to determine that the professional is, in fact, a danger to the public by holding the professional medical license. However, there are also incidents where an individual made one mistake and deserves a chance to obtain or maintain their professional license. If you are currently in the process of seeking a professional license in the state of California, or if you are concerned that your record will impact your eligibility to maintain or obtain a license in the medical profession, seek counsel from the experienced team of attorneys at Century Law Group, LLP. We have seen it all, and we know that even the very best in the medical profession can falter. We are here to help. Our professional licensing attorneys seek to help licensees face challenges head on and retain their licenses. For general counsel regarding the licensure process, to learn how your record will affect your license eligibility, or to learn more about Century Law Group, LLP, please call us . Contact

*To protect anonymity, the above-referenced physician’s is referred to as “Doctor X”

**To protect anonymity, the above-referenced psychiatrist is referred to as “Doctor Y”

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