No matter what a person’s occupation is, a criminal conviction can be difficult to deal with. For medical professionals, the challenges of dealing with a conviction can be even harder to get through.
It’s possible that a criminal conviction could lead to either the suspension or the revocation of a medical professional’s license. Because of this, many health care workers are concerned about their professional futures after being convicted of a crime.
Whether or not a medical professional will lose their license depends on the specifics of their case. This is what the Medical Board of California and the California Board of Registered Nursing look at when deciding how to discipline someone after a conviction.
The Medical Board of California states that a conviction “substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a physician constitutes unprofessional conduct which can be cause for disciplinary action.”
“Substantially related” is the key phrase in this statement. In California, this has historically covered a broad range of criminal convictions. Some crimes that have been found to be “substantially related” include DUIs, drug crimes and public intoxication.
The medical board considers a number of punishments if a doctor is convicted of a crime that is determined to be “substantially related” to their duties as a physician. In addition to possible license suspension, other penalties may include community service, mandatory ethics classes and victim restitution.
Nurses, like doctors, that suffer a criminal conviction are subject to the same “substantially related” standard. Nurses’ convictions are reviewed by the California Board of Registered Nursing.
Some previous convictions that have been considered to be “substantially related” to the duties of a nurse include embezzlement, theft and failure to report abuse. Potential discipline from a conviction can include placing the nurse on probation or having the nurse’s license either suspended or revoked.
No matter someone’s role in the medical field, it’s important they take immediate action to help protect their professional future. Consulting with an medical or nursing license defense attorney with helping health care workers can help you protect your professional license after a conviction.