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View Full Version : What to Doctors do After Losing Their License?


Frylock
09-11-2006, 01:40 AM
Say a doctor loses her license to practice. Are there still jobs she can find which her medical training gives her special qualifications for? Or does she have to pretty much just start at the bottom as though she just had a college degree or something?

In other words, if you lose your medical license, just how screwed are you?

-FrL-

threemae
09-11-2006, 03:56 AM
Say a doctor loses her license to practice. Are there still jobs she can find which her medical training gives her special qualifications for? Or does she have to pretty much just start at the bottom as though she just had a college degree or something?

In other words, if you lose your medical license, just how screwed are you?

-FrL-

AFAIR:

There are certainly quite a few "desk jobs" that require MD's that don't require board certification, which is what I believe people typically refer to as a doctor's "license."

However, most pulled licenses aren't for somple incompetence but typically some major ethical lapses, the type which would make someone really not want to hire you.

kambuckta
09-11-2006, 04:54 AM
Some, like a particular Dr Patel (http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Queenslands-Dr-Death-linked-to-80-deaths/2005/05/24/1116700709781.html) move to another country after being deregistered in the US, only to continue their less-than-exemplary medical practices abroad.

:rolleyes:

madmonk28
09-11-2006, 05:43 AM
When I worked at a restaraunt, the health inspector was an MD who didn't have his liscense (don't know the reason why).

SailBunny
09-11-2006, 05:45 AM
I know that for nurses at least, a license can be lost for a very innocent mistake (not having to do with ethics), as well as the license of the nurse in charge (who is supposed to be supervising), or at least thats the sound of it over at allnurses.com. I have no idea what one could do after this happened.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
09-11-2006, 08:33 AM
Pharmaceutical Supply firms would like you for a salesman, I dare say.

threemae
09-12-2006, 06:35 PM
Bump.

Sorry, but I thought that this was a very interesting question. I had some general idea on the subject, but if anyone has some more specific comments or stories I'd be interested.

By the way, could we also expand the op to include JD's that actually get disbarred (as opposed to the many that don't take the bar)?

FormerMarineGuy
09-12-2006, 06:48 PM
Hopefully this is related. When I was in the Marines, a lot of servicemember's hated seeing the military doctors for surgery and the like, stating "they are just doctors who lost their license in the civilian world" or "they have been sued so many times for malpractice they can not afford medical insurance".

If anyone can verify this, perhaps this is what some doctors do when they lose their license.

Oakminster
09-12-2006, 06:56 PM
Sam Sheppard took up pro wrestling.

His superior knowledge of anatomy made his nerve hold very effective.

Aunt Flow
09-12-2006, 07:03 PM
Not a human doctor, but a vet down where I used to live lost his license for animal abuse but was able to continue his practice by being a homeopathic/acupuncture vet :p

Hari Seldon
09-12-2006, 07:05 PM
I can give two examples. My first cousin, an anasthesiologist, had his licence suspended for being addicted to something. He practiced under supervision for two years and then his licence was restored. I think that addiction is a relatively common hazard for anasthesiologists and his experience is probably typical. He was not accused of any medical malfeasance, of course.

Another example I know of is a woman who could not take the rigors of being a resident and just walked out after 6 weeks. She now works for an insurance company as a claims adjustor, where her medical knowledge is important.

Pazu
09-12-2006, 07:50 PM
AFAIR:

There are certainly quite a few "desk jobs" that require MD's that don't require board certification, which is what I believe people typically refer to as a doctor's "license."

Actually, physicians' licenses are issued by the state (once you've passed your US Medical License Examinations parts 1, 2, and 3), and are distinct from Board certification, which are issued (following one or more additional heinous exams) by subspecialty organizations.

You technically don't need to be Board-certified to practice in your specialty, but it generally makes life a lot easier, since many (most?) practices only hire "Board-certified" or at least "Board-eligible" people.


However, most pulled licenses aren't for somple incompetence but typically some major ethical lapses, the type which would make someone really not want to hire you.

This is true.

Yeah
09-12-2006, 08:10 PM
Hopefully this is related. When I was in the Marines, a lot of servicemember's hated seeing the military doctors for surgery and the like, stating "they are just doctors who lost their license in the civilian world" or "they have been sued so many times for malpractice they can not afford medical insurance".

If anyone can verify this, perhaps this is what some doctors do when they lose their license.

If you are talking about the 1960s or 1970s, I can believe it, having served in the army and having seen a lot of mismanagement and unethical behavior. However, in recent years I have met a lot of army and navy docs and they seem to me to be just as good as civilian docs any day and it has been a long time since I've read about any scandals caused by the poor performance of a military doc. I think that the military docs are probably better than the civilian docs working for the military.

I would be very surprised if the military did not recquire its docs to maintain a valid medical license in at least one state.

Eva Luna
09-12-2006, 09:36 PM
At my first job after college, I worked for a nonprofit that did job placement for Soviet refugees. Our office had some 200 Soviet doctors as clients, most of whom were never going to pass boards, much less survive a residency in the U.S. to get relicensed. We found a bunch of them jobs as dialysis technicians - at the time, in Illinois at least, no further training or licensing was required for foreign M.D.s.

astorian
09-13-2006, 12:55 AM
A scary number of doctors who lose their licenses in one state keep them in other states, and resume practice.

Annie-Xmas
09-13-2006, 09:16 AM
By the way, could we also expand the op to include JD's that actually get disbarred (as opposed to the many that don't take the bar)?

We have a real estate agent who is a disbarred attorney (lost his license for messing with his escrow account).

ShibbOleth
09-13-2006, 09:24 AM
Just curious if the OP was brought about by Sunday night's Family Guy?

Squink
09-13-2006, 10:00 AM
Move to a small town in Nevada or Arizona and proceed to drink themselves to death, until a late night knock on the door reveals a mysterious stranger, with even more mysterious injuries. After the NSA gets involved, it turns out the stranger isn't even human...

psychonaut
09-13-2006, 10:14 AM
At my first job after college, I worked for a nonprofit that did job placement for Soviet refugees. Our office had some 200 Soviet doctors as clients, most of whom were never going to pass boards, much less survive a residency in the U.S. to get relicensed.Why not? Was it because they weren't fluent enough in English? Or was their medical training insufficient by American standards? Or did they just not want to bother going through the relicensing process?

Nava
09-13-2006, 11:42 AM
This wasn't a doctor but a lawyer... I knew a woman in Miami who had a law degree from Spain. In order to turn it into a viable US law degree, she basically had to get an American Bachelor's and then go to Law School. That is, her "bachelor's" in Law wasn't considered equal to even several credits of US college. While the legal systems of Spain and the US are very different, you kind of think 5 years of Spanish Law School should count as something - but they didn't.

When I went to Grad School in the US, my GREs were all in the top 10%. We were given additional Chemistry exams (prepared by the American Chemical Society) and if you did badly in those, you had to take undergrad-level courses. Those among us who scored 98% (me) and 99% (a Korean guy) could still not use that to get waivers from graduate courses that we were, in fact, qualified to teach. I could have provided sillabi for my undergrad courses showing that they covered more than several of my grad courses, but this was simply Not Considered.

One of the stupidest problems the EU is facing right now, and has faced for quite a while, is getting all the different degrees homologated, so that a company in, say, Austria, can look at a degree from Portugal and have an idea what level it's at. Some governments are not helping this by inventing new degrees.

jimmmy
09-13-2006, 03:37 PM
I can give two examples. My first cousin, an anasthesiologist, had his licence suspended for being addicted to something. He practiced under supervision for two years and then his licence was restored. I think that addiction is a relatively common hazard for anasthesiologists and his experience is probably typical. He was not accused of any medical malfeasance, of course.


Similar deal with an acquaintance of mine -- only he ended up losing his licenses. He had two Hospital privilege suspensions and two treatment center stays before he "voluntarily" surrendered his license - after he was arrested for a DUI. I was flabbergasted that it took as long as it did really scary to me. Apparently if at some point he is clean and sober he can cone before the Board to get his licensees back even now.

Anyway, apparently there was a Law Firm Interested in him as an expert witness. [I can imagine the cross "Weren't you an addict Doctor who lost everything by your Drug use?"] - he didn't take that job, but it seemed as if the law firm was pretty serious about it.]

He owns a failing retail establishment now, that is what he actually did, had - some - dough left from the fat years and bought a shop.

alphaboi867
09-13-2006, 04:33 PM
Why not? Was it because they weren't fluent enough in English? Or was their medical training insufficient by American standards? Or did they just not want to bother going through the relicensing process?
My mom's a nurse's aid and (I'm not sure what the job's called) one of the people who sit in a room reading EKG's was a doctor in Cuba. One problem someone defecting from their homeland is that their alma mater might not be willing to provide transcripts or verify that they graduated.

Qadgop the Mercotan
09-13-2006, 06:38 PM
A scary number of doctors who lose their licenses in one state keep them in other states, and resume practice.
Cite? This used to be a problem years ago, but these days each state board is pretty damn diligent about notifying other boards about their disciplinary actions. And most state boards who are notified of a problem in another state tend to likewise not allow a doc with a suspended or revoked license in one state to practice in theirs. At least not without investigation.

The National Practitioner Data Bank tends to be a good resource regarding action by any board in any US state.

Moirai
09-13-2006, 09:46 PM
By the way, could we also expand the op to include JD's that actually get disbarred (as opposed to the many that don't take the bar)?


Often, they continue to practice, at least for a while. If they have an attorney working with them or under them in a firm, they can have that attorney file everything under the active Bar number, or make all the appearances, or whatever. I know of one case where the disbarred attorney used the associate's Bar number without her permission, which was pretty messed up.

It happens more than you might think. Plenty of people will give money to anybody with an office and a business card, when a simple phone call or website check will tell you his/her Bar status.

Originally posted by Annie-Xmas
We have a real estate agent who is a disbarred attorney (lost his license for messing with his escrow account).

Really? I don't think I'd let that guy anywhere near my business or my money, what with him having proved himself so trustworthy already...

Eva Luna
09-13-2006, 10:07 PM
Why not? Was it because they weren't fluent enough in English? Or was their medical training insufficient by American standards? Or did they just not want to bother going through the relicensing process?

Usually it was some combination of the above. The typical situation was a 50-something former specialty physician with little to no English, who had been out of med school for at least 20 - 30 years. Try passing a high-level examination in, say, biochemistry, which you haven't touched in 25 years, in a language that you don't speak very well - those exams are difficult even for smart, U.S.-trained native English speakers.

Combine that with the very different way some medical and scientific subjects were taught in the USSR (psychology, in particular, and related subjects were taught quite differently, even leaving aside all the developments in general sciences and medicine in the past couple of decades), and with the fact that at the time, even if you managed to pass your boards, most hospitals weren't keen on considering a 50-something Soviet-trained doctor for a residency, and you can begin to see why only a handful ever got fully relicensed.

The few who did make it all the way through were usually young, with good English, and had only been out of med school for a few years, and even they usually had to study really hard for the exams and/or take them multiple times.

alphaboi867
09-13-2006, 10:26 PM
Eva, how did you go about confirming their educational qualifications? Were Soviet universities actually willing to send transcripts, diplomas, etc?

Eva Luna
09-13-2006, 10:56 PM
Eva, how did you go about confirming their educational qualifications? Were Soviet universities actually willing to send transcripts, diplomas, etc?

For the most part, confirming credentials wasn't an issue; this was right before the breakup of the USSR (I worked there from 1990 - 91), by which time the Soviet authorities generally didn't care who left, and except for a couple of people doing politically sensitive medical research, all were allowed to take original diplomas and transcripts and research publications with them. (One of our clients had the eminently depressing job of head of pediatric oncology at a hospital in Ukraine, for example. And I have no idea why the woman who did a dissertation on the land molluscs of Azerbaijan couldn't take it with her, but that's a rant for another day.)

The main problem with evaluating educational equivalency was for transfer credit purposes at the undergrad level for those who had partially completed degrees when they emigrated (in all fields, not just in medicine). The University of Illinois at Chicago was a particular PITA. One of my clients had gotten through 4.5 years of a 5-year degree (at the Soviet equivalent of Cal Tech) which would have been the equivalent of a master's degree in chemical engineering, but they refused to grant her transfer credit unless she provided a professionally done, certified, notarized English translation of not only her diploma and transcripts, but course catalog descriptions. This would have cost almost as much as having her take all the classes over again, and they refused to consider the possibility of letting her test out of a single one of the courses, even something as basic as calculus (because it's not like Russia has ever produced any mathematicians or scientists or anything....sigh).

I tried to call up the registrar and talk some sense into them (for example, Soviet universities don't issue American-style course catalogs with detailed descriptions, because most degree programs didn't allow for any electives, so what was the point?) They actually insisted that she should be able to provide an English-language catalog.

Raguleader
09-14-2006, 01:26 AM
While I don't know if this ever happens in real life, but in a couple of TV shows and movies, I've seen disbarred (or otherwise seperated from their professional communities) running red-light clinics catering to folks who couldn't afford to go to a "real" doctor for whatever reason (ie: money, legal problems, too many questions asked, etc.)

The only examples I can think of off the top of my head here though is the doctor from Johnny Mnemonic and Doctor Franklin from Babylon 5 (who ran a free red-light clinic in down-below using medical supplies that kept getting misplaced from the station's stores). If it happens in real life, it probably isn't the kind of thing you'd find in the Yellow Pages anyways.