Are you resilient enough to be a physician?

As most physicians will tell you, it takes a lot more than understanding chemistry or being a good test taker to be a good physician. It takes being willing to work hard, being able to face adversity, and staying calm in a crisis situation. It takes being resilient.  I often wonder if medical students and medical residents are being challenged and taught the appropriate skills to be an accomplished physician.

In my practice, I represent physicians who are being investigated by the State Medical Board.  I also regularly represent residents who face discipline in their residency program or who are seeking licensure for the first time.  For most of my clients, an investigation in their practice by the State Medical Board may be the first time they have ever been questioned by a person in authority or “called on the carpet” for their actions.   Based on this new experience, it is interesting how they react.

A Board investigation is an incredibly stressful time for the physician. Their entire professional livelihood is on the line and any discipline that is imposed by the Board will have significant ramifications to their job, hospital credentialing status, third-party payor status, board certifications and may affect other state licenses.

Investigations by the State Medical Board do not have a statute of limitations and, once the Board starts an investigation, it is not limited to just the scope of the complaint.  The Board may review all aspects of the physician’s practice. In addition, while conducting an investigation, the Board can order the physician to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation or a mental or medical evaluation to determine if they have a condition that may affect their ability to practice medicine.

In order to get through a Medical Board investigation, the physician needs to be patient, cooperative and still maintain the same level of professionalism in their practice while seeing patients. This calls for resiliency on the part of the physician.

Physicians hold patients’ lives in their hands. They need the intelligence, executive function skills, and downright grit to maintain their composure in an ever-changing medical field. So, before entering medicine or if you are a practicing physician, I think it is important to consider .. are you resilient enough to be a physician?

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

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