Medical Board Investigators Carry Guns Now?

I recently learned that Ohio Medical Board investigators now carry hand guns while on the job. I had heard that the Board was considering allowing their investigators to carry firearms, but recently I learned first hand that an investigator had entered a private medical practice carrying a firearm.  I find this practice intimidating and unnecessary.

Isn’t it intimidating enough when an investigator appears in the medical office or hospital, often unannounced, flashes his credentials and demands to speak with the physician (who is most often seeing patients) and then requests to immediately see and take original patient files? My question is, why must they also carry a firearm?

I went back to the Board’s minutes to review the Board members’ rationale for this decision. In August 2011, the Board reviewed the issue of investigator safety. Of course, I found that this new aggressive move by the Board comes down to the heightened investigation of pain clinics in Ohio. The argument was that pain clinic waiting rooms may be filled with patients, who may be also carrying weapons.  The Board members were advised, on occasion, investigators were confronted with people hanging around the parking lots and “drinking alcohol” and on one occasion an investigator’s car was blocked by another car and they could not leave the parking lot. http://www.med.ohio.gov/pdf/Minutes/2011/08-11minutes.pdf

Based on concern for the safety of the investigators, the Board members approved a policy that would require investigators to undergo a minimum of 40 hours of training at the Ohio Peace Officers Academy and obtain re-certification annually.

I would never want to put the lives or safety of the Medical Board investigators at risk. However, we have a trained police force available in Ohio that investigators can call at any time for assistance. In addition, if the investigator has reason to believe that they are going into a dangerous area, they can always alert the local police in advance and even have an officer accompany them to their appointment. However, to allow an administrative board investigator to carry a firearm after simply 40 hours of training into all medical offices for all appointments is intimidating and unnecessary for the overwhelming majority of investigations conducted.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the State Medical Board in general, please feel free to contact me at beth@collislaw.com or call me at 614-486-3909.

The truth..the whole truth and nothing but the truth

In order for your attorney to provide you with the best possible counsel, you have to tell them the truth .. the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This seems obvious, however, I find clients (or often potential clients) either don’t tell me the truth or fail to tell me the “entire story.”   The only way to effectively work with an attorney is if you tell them the entire story. It is the attorney’s job to work their way through all the information and determine what is important and what is not important information in your case.

Most of my clients are medical professionals. They have been trained to take a patient’s history and physical. They know the importance of getting the entire story from the patient. The approach the physician takes when treating a patient is largely determined by the information obtained directly from the patient.  This is exactly the same scenario in working with an attorney. If you don’t tell the attorney the truth and the ENTIRE story … their ability to help you is limited.

In addition, you should be readily forthcoming with the information for your attorney. You can’t expect your attorney to cross-examine you to get the story out or to make assumptions based on the limited information that you have provided to them.

If you are not comfortable telling your own attorney the entire story, then you need to find another attorney who you are comfortable telling the entire story. In addition, if you fail to tell your attorney your entire story, you run the risk of the information coming out in a deposition or on cross-examination, which could leave your attorney blindsided and unable to assist you.

The truth is always the best policy, especially when working with your own attorney.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please feel free to email me at beth@collislaw.com or call me at 614-486-3909.