Happy New Year.
A quick public service announcement to all physicians licensed in Ohio. As you go out to celebrate the New Year tonight, do not drink and drive! It’s unsafe for you and others and may also have devastating consequences on your professional license.
If you are charged with an alcohol related offense, OVI, disorderly conduct, reckless operation (just to name a few), the Medical Board has the authority to take a disciplinary action against your professional license.
Yes. Keep in mind. The Medical Board is concerned about your behavior and conduct 24/7. Even if you are not scheduled to work tomorrow, or this weekend, if you are charged and convicted with an alcohol related offense, the Medical Board can take a disciplinary action against you.
Depending on the facts and circumstances, the Medical Board has the authority to order you to a 72 hour chemical dependency evaluation at a Board approved treatment center. Then, depending on the results of the assessment, you could be ordered to complete 28 days of RESIDENTIAL treatment. Your license would be suspended for an indefinite period of time (at least 30 days) and you would be required to enter into a five year monitoring agreement with the Medical Board once your license is reinstated. If licensed in other states you would need to disclose the Medical Board action. This would be considered a public disciplinary action and would be noted on the Medical Board website indefinitely.
In the past, I have always encouraged physicians to appoint a designated driver if they plan to consume alcohol. But, too often, the “designated driver” leaves the party early or consumes alcohol themselves! Before you go out tonight, schedule a taxi to pick you up or download the Uber app on your phone. I recently used the Uber app and caught a ride to the airport at 7am. I couldn’t believe the ease of using this app.
Even if you are just going to a low key party at a friend’s house “down the street”, don’t risk your professional livelihood. Order a driver, taxi or Uber BEFORE you leave the house tonight.
Have fun. Be safe and Happy New Year.
As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the State Medical Board of Ohio in general, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at my office at 614-486-3909.