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group of medical practitioners

“The professional licensing boards, commissions, and committees within the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency are charged with the responsibility of disciplining licensees who have violated practice standards, acted dishonestly, or acted unethically,” the Indiana government website explains.

But are those disciplinary measures sometimes disproportionate to the actual situation? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. While at Ramey & Hailey, we fight for fair compensation for victims of medical malpractice, all too often we find ourselves defending medical practitioners, helping them deal with unfair punitive effects of the physician licensing and disciplinary system.

At Ramey & Hailey Law, we find it interesting that a paper on opioid treatments for pain is named Protecting Dr. Smith while Treating the Chronic Pain of Mrs. Jones. “One important influence is physician concern about both law enforcement and regulatory scrutiny: physicians are reluctant to prescribe adequate amounts of controlled substances for pain because of the potential for investigation by the DEA and the state medical licensing board.”

At Ramey & Hailey Law, our personal injury attorneys have experience handling both aspects – protecting Mrs. Jones’ safety and health, fighting for fair compensation when medical malpractice has occurred, but at the same time helping to protect all the ”Doctor Smiths” from undue litigation, onerous penalties and sanctions.

Doctors must regulate themselves, to be sure.  As the AMA Journal of Ethics points out, “The profession of medicine in its modern conceptualization includes self-regulation. By upholding quality of care and dealing proactively with those who are dangerously out of step with their colleagues, self-regulation in turn gives medicine a degree of protection and autonomy from government procedural rule.”  We certainly agree.

The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency is in charge of disciplining licensees who have:

  • violated practice standards
  • acted dishonestly
  • acted unethically

Significantly, “the IPLA assumes no responsibility for damages incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, for the use and application of any of the information ..” In other words, however insignificant the infraction (perhaps something as small as being a day or two late in a license renewal), a doctor may suffer significant financial and reputational damage.

At Ramey & Hailey, we are often called upon to help medical practitioners who have not acted dishonestly or unethically, but who have nonetheless suffered disproportionate harm, become proactive in defending their own careers.

Mrs. Jones certainly needs and deserves protection, but so does Dr. Smith!

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