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MD's case spotlights health care regulator's oversight, powers

California health care providers -- ranging from doctors and psychologists to nurses, dentists and other industry professionals -- know acutely well how closely they are monitored and otherwise regulated by state authorities.

That's just part and parcel of being a practitioner in the medical field: the realm invites scrutiny that is unparalleled in most other occupational spheres.

Central to that oversight are boards that weigh in on licensing, complaints, discipline and related matters. The list of boards is long, with an especially powerful entity being the Medical Board of California.

The board's reach and powers were on display recently in a matter involving a long-tenured psychiatrist well experienced in working with elderly and disabled persons. That individual was involved in a physical confrontation with a patient in a facility near Sacramento, with the matter subsequently being formally considered by the board.

Its response was swift and unequivocal. Regulators revoked the psychiatrist's license for three years, but stayed that outcome pending the doctor's compliance with various stated requirements.

The reach and impact of the board's ruling was rendered especially clear recently following the psychiatrist's surrendering of his license to practice medicine in New Hampshire as well as in California. The California-imposed sanction reportedly played heavily in that outcome.

And that leads to a notable point, namely this: The adverse fallout from a California medical board's disciplinary ruling can be dire, indeed, with nationwide repercussions.

The importance of a medical professional's license simply cannot be overstated. In the event it is challenged, a proven health care license defense attorney can provide timely, knowledgeable and aggressive advocacy geared toward fully protecting a client's rights and mitigating any disciplinary downsides.

We welcome readers' contacts to our law firm regarding any questions or concerns relating to a medical or other professional licensing matter in California.

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