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Physician Discipline by the Medical Board of California – What Can the Medical Board Do ?


The Medical Board of California has the authority to impose various levels of discipline on physicians who are found to have violated the Medical Practice Act or other relevant laws and regulations. Unless you default or stipulate the disciplinary process involves a hearing where an Administrative Law Judge makes findings for or against the doctor. However, the Medical Board need not follow those findings and it can impose physician discipline (or acquit the physician) regardless of what the judge found. There is the possibility of review by a Superior Court judge but that is late in the process.

The specific disciplinary actions that can be taken by the board may include:

Citation: A citation is a formal notice of violation issued by the Medical Board for minor infractions. It typically involves a fine or a requirement to complete a specific educational course.

Letter of Public Reprimand: A letter of public reprimand is a formal disciplinary action issued by the Medical Board that becomes part of the public record. It serves as a public notice of the physician’s violation and may impact their professional reputation.

Probation: Probation is a more serious disciplinary action that places specific conditions on a physician’s license for a designated period. These conditions may include monitoring, supervision, restrictions on practice, required education, and periodic reporting to the Medical Board.

Suspension: Suspension involves the temporary revocation of a physician’s license to practice medicine for a specified period. During the suspension, the physician is prohibited from practicing medicine in California.

Revocation: Revocation is the most severe disciplinary action that permanently terminates a physician’s license to practice medicine in California. Once a license is revoked, the physician is no longer authorized to practice medicine in the state.

In addition to these disciplinary actions, the Medical Board of California may also take other measures, such as requiring additional training, imposing fines, ordering restitution, or requiring participation in a diversion program for substance abuse issues.

It’s important to note that the specific disciplinary actions taken by the Medical Board depend on the nature and severity of the violation, and they are determined on a case-by-case basis. The board’s decisions are based on protecting public safety, ensuring the competency and integrity.

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