In my practice I receive calls each week from nervous and frightened physicians who have been contacted either by telephone or letter from a Ohio Medical Board or even Pharmacy Board investigator. The question I am always asked is:
Do I have to talk with the investigator?
First, never speak with an investigator without competent legal counsel. Anything you tell an investigator can be used in a disciplinary action against you by your licensing board and/or by the police in a criminal investigation.
Depending on the facts in your case, sometimes I advise clients to speak with investigators or to provide a written statement to their licensing board regarding an alleged complaint. However, I never have my clients meet with investigators without legal counsel and I never allow my clients to submit written statement that I have not had a chance to review.
Also, don’t allow the investigator to set the timing for when you will respond to them. I am often contacted by nurses who have been contacted by an investigator from the Ohio State Medical Board and advised that they need to meet with the investigator or submit a written statement to the investigator within 24 or 48 hours. These deadlines or almost always negotiable. Do not allow the investigator to rush you into providing them with the statement until you have had a chance to meet with legal counsel.