As humans, we walk, run, and stand constantly during the day and the care of our feet and ankles is extremely important. Podiatrists can perform surgical procedures, treat wounds, heal breaks and sprains, and treat diseases is vital for society. Becoming a doctor of podiatry requires a lot of sacrifice and special training to have the skills to treat conditions, injuries, and disorders of the feet and ankles. Defending against allegations of wrongdoing can be very daunting and stressful because the allegations could lead to large fines, restrictions on practicing, license suspension or even revocation. Here, you can learn more about how to defend a podiatry license if you ever face this situation.
Regulations for Podiatrists
The Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Board of Examiners in Podiatry regulate podiatrists in Connecticut. The Board receives complaints from the public, usually patients, that make allegations against a podiatrist. When the Board receives complaints, it takes them very seriously because the goal is to make sure that podiatrists are giving the highest standard of care possible. Enforcing regulations and laws is the priority, so when complaints are received, there is generally an investigation into the podiatrist. The investigation could involve an investigator looking into the podiatrist’s entire establishment and practice, requesting documents and records, and even demanding the release of patient records.
One thing that podiatrists should know is that they are entitled to speak with an attorney before giving any oral or written statements to an investigator. This is important because whatever is said to an investigator can be misleading or misinterpreted and this could be used against them. It is also important that the podiatrist take the investigation seriously and not think that they can explain away the allegations to the Board.
Facing an Investigation
The Board, after conducting an investigation, may choose to either drop the allegations because they are unsubstantiated, or move forward with the allegations and take disciplinary action. Disciplinary action could include fines, restrictions, training courses, substance abuse treatment, license suspension, or revocation. The Board may initiate a conference in which a settlement agreement is offered. Even if the settlement agreement does not include a loss of license, it could still mean that there is a permanent mark on the licensee’s professional career and this could cause a damaged reputation. Restrictions and loss of license could cause a loss of career, the inability to practice in other states, and financial difficulties.
Facing a Hearing
If there is no resolution, the licensee may choose to have an administrative hearing, which is a formal hearing in front of the Board. Administrative hearings allow the licensee to defend him or herself, have representation, and have the opportunity to appeal the decision in the future. In most cases, the Board cannot discipline the licensee with a loss of license without giving the licensee an opportunity to have a hearing. Some allegations that could lead to possible disciplinary action include:
Treating Patients While Under the Influence
Abuse of Patients
Unethical or Unprofessional Behavior
Practicing With a Suspended License
Violating Medical Procedure or Medication Procedures
Sexual or Inappropriate Behavior With Patients
Although there are certain allegations that are worse than others, the Board will take all complaints seriously and conduct an investigation. Regardless of the seriousness of the allegations, if the allegations are substantiated with evidence after the investigation, the Board will likely pursue action against the licensee. If your podiatrist license is in jeopardy or you are at any stage in the administrative process, call our office to speak with someone that can answer your questions.