Today, I attended the monthly meeting of the State Medical Board of Ohio. I was surprised to see that in all six cases handled by the Board, the licensees had failed to request a hearing. Despite the fact that the Board may impose any sanction, ranging from dismissal to permanent revocation of a license, in each case where the licensee failed to request a hearing, the Board either revoked or permanently revoked their licenses.
The Board Members expressed concern that if these licensees had not requested a hearing or attended the Board meeting, these licensees were not interested in maintaining an Ohio license. Therefore, the Board revoked their licenses. By failing to request a hearing, the Board is often left with unanswered questions.
Often, professionals will tell me that do not want to request a hearing or appear before the Board because they have already submitted documentation in support of their case and they believe they have, “no other information to provide to the Board”.
Failing to request a hearing can be a very costly mistake. There is no more powerful information than the personal testimony of a license holder. Boards typically like to see that an individual understands the gravity of charges against them, that the individual accepts responsibility for their conduct, that the individual expresses remorse for their conducts, and how the individual will handle a similar situation in the future.
Often, I find that cases appear to be far more serious on paper and that once testimony is provided from the licensee and by those who support the licensee, the Board is able to have their questions answered and view the case in a much less serious light. In some instances, I have also seen that the sanction the Board imposes after a hearing is less harsh than the Board was contemplating prior to the hearing.
Failing to request a hearing can be a very costly mistake. It is recommended that a licensee request a hearing and to present testimony in your defense. If you want to retain your medical license, you need to fight for it.