Podiatrist License Defense Lawyer
Protect your Podiatrist license
Unlock Legal represents Doctors of Podiatric Medicine in California.
- Was your application to the Podiatric Medical Board of California (PMBC) rejected (or you’re worried it will be)?
- Are you under investigation?
- Do you have a pending criminal matter or a criminal conviction?
Whatever your concern, Unlock Legal can help you. We are the experts in defending professionals and protecting their licenses. If your license is in jeopardy for any reason, contact us immediately for a free consultation.
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Why You Need a Podiatrist License Defense Lawyer
The Podiatrist Medical Board of California (Board) regulates licensed practitioners who provide podiatry services in the state. It is both a consumer protection agency and rulemaking and enforcement body. The Board both helps consumers and enforces standards for practicing podiatrists in California.
Doctors of Podiatry Medicine have been licensed in California for approximately 100 years. To practice in the state, the DPM must successfully apply for a license once they possess the appropriate qualifications. They must pass an exam to provide services in the state.
Currently, there are over 2,200 licensed DPMs in California. These doctors must follow the standards prescribed by the Board, which has the power under California law to make new rules and take enforcement actions against DPMs who do not follow them.
The Board has wide, but not unlimited, enforcement power. When customers file a complaint with the Board, it will almost always lead to an investigation. The Board will almost never close a complaint without doing anything to act on it. Once the Board begins an investigation, it may look at other aspects of the DPM’s practice. You have the right to file a Notice of Defense to the charges and allegations against you.
License Applications, Denials and Statement of Issues
Applying for your license is exciting because it is one of the last hurdles before you can begin your career. For many the application process with the PMBC is straightforward and simple. However, for some, past criminal convictions or other issues can lock them up. The attorneys at Unlock Legal will complete and file your application on your behalf to make sure that you have the best chance of having it granted.
If you have submitted your application and it has been denied, you are not locked out of your career. A denial of your application is called a Statement of Issues. We will defend you to the PMBC with the intention that you are granted your license free and clear. If you must be on probation, we will negotiate the best possible terms and conditions. A part of your defense may be cleaning up any past criminal issues to show your rehabilitation to the licensing body.
If someone files a complaint against you with the PMBC, the PMBC may instigate an investigation against you. The attorneys at Unlock Legal will request a copy of the complaint, assist you in preparation of any statement, prepare you for the investigation interview, and represent you at the interview with the investigator. It is important to have experienced counsel with you at an investigation interview to assist you in answering any questions appropriately, and advising you when not to speak. With the right advice and counsel an investigation may end at the interview stage. If not, your licensing body may choose to file a formal complaint against you called an Accusation.
An Accusation is a formal complaint drafted by the Attorney General’s office. It alleges various causes of action against you which may stem from conviction of a crime, and/or allegations of other bad acts like substance abuse, or deviation from the standard of care. You have only 15 days to send a Notice of Defense once you have been served with an Accusation. If you miss the deadline a default order may be rendered against you resulting in the revocation of your license.
It is imperative that you hire experienced counsel to represent you if an Accusation has been filed against you. Time is of the essence, and your career and livelihood is at stake.
Why the Board Takes Disciplinary Action
Reasons the Board may take disciplinary action against a DPM include:
- Fraudulent billing practices
- Gross negligence or repeated acts of negligence
- Improper conduct with patients
- Ordering unnecessary treatments
- Record keeping failures
- Allowing someone to practice podiatry without a license
- Failure to meet continuing education requirements
- Continuing education was not accepted by the board
- Accused of continuing education fraud
Penalties That Podiatrists May Face
The Board publishes a Model Disciplinary Guidelines booklet, which contains the list of potential penalties that DPMs may face. The most serious penalty imposed on a DPM is a complete revocation of their license. Additionally, they may face other penalties, such as:
- Suspension of their license
- Partial or total restrictions on the prescription of controlled substances
- An order that the DPM is to refrain from using alcohol
- Community service
- Required participation in a medical education class
- Required participation in a medical recordkeeping class
- Require participation in an ethics class
- Mandatory examination to keep a podiatry license
- Cost recovery
- Practicing under supervision
All disciplinary actions are public, and prospective patients can know that you have been found to have done something wrong. Not only will the penalty hurt your practice, but the publication can ruin the reputation that you have spent years building.
Petition for Reinstatement of License or Reduction of Penalties
If you have lost your license you are not locked out of the career of your choice. After a certain amount of time you are eligible to ask the PMBC to grant your license again. In addition, you can generally request that the terms and conditions of probation be modified or terminated early. The legal team at Unlock Legal has filed petitions for reinstatement for many clients who made one mistake, and who have paid the price. We love to demonstrate mitigating circumstances and rehabilitation to the PMBC to get our podiatrists back in the office as soon as possible!
Contact a Podiatry License Defense Lawyer Today
Before any disciplinary action becomes final, you have the legal right to be heard. An attorney can represent you in front of the Board at an early stage of the investigation. You can head off further action when there is an investigation or find a solution that can allow you to keep practicing podiatry. You are entitled to a disciplinary hearing, where your attorney can present your side of the story and counter the evidence against you. If you are facing an investigation from the Board, call Unlock Legal today.