The prospect of going to trial to defend oneself against medical malpractice allegations is unappealing, especially if the case ends with a cash settlement or verdict. But damage to your reputation and increased malpractice insurance premiums aside, perhaps the most serious consequences of a malpractice accusation against a doctor is the effect it can have on his or her medical license.
Patients who sue their medical service providers may also file a complaint with the state licensing boards that governs the defendants’ ability to practice in Ohio. These boards include:
- The State Medical Board of Ohio
- The Ohio Board of Nursing
- The Ohio Board of Pharmacy
- The Ohio State Dental Board
These boards have the power to conduct administrative hearings, in which they investigate the patient’s claims and determine whether to punish the defendant. In this context, punishment generally means a suspension or outright revocation of the defendant’s professional license. Without a license, it is not possible to earn a living through medicine.
Though an administrative hearing is not the same thing as a civil trial, accused medical professionals have the right to have an attorney represent them before the board. There are always two sides to every story, and the evidence often does not support a suspended or revoked license.
A ruling by the board that goes against the defendant is not the end of the road. If you wish, you can appeal the ruling to the local Court of Appeals, and even the state Supreme Court. Depending on the circumstances, you might be fighting for your career, so the stakes can be high.