As a physician, your professional license is crucial for you to practice medicine in the state of Florida. So when you receive the first indication that someone has lodged a complaint against you to state authorities, now is the time to prepare your defense. The Florida Board of Medicine could require you to appear before a hearing to answer allegations.
Still, not all complaints actually make it to a board hearing. The state of Florida explains the preliminary steps that must take place before you know that you have to defend your license.
Reviewing complaints at the DOH
A formal complaint against you will receive an initial review at the state Department of Health. Different units within the department may look at the complaint. In the event the department decides the complaint has enough merit, the Investigative Services Unit will acquire more facts by interviewing the relevant people involved, including law enforcement if necessary.
From there, the Prosecution Services Unit will take up the complaint and scrutinize the information gathered to that point to see if there are any violations of Florida Statutes. If so, the complaint will proceed to the Probable Cause Panel.
Evaluation by the PCP
The Probable Cause Panel will determine if probable cause exists for the complaint against you. A PCP will consist of at least a current member of the Board of Medicine as well as a past member and a non-physician consumer member. If the PCP does not find probable cause, it will dismiss the complaint. The investigative steps up to this point will remain confidential.
However, if the PCP does determine there is probable cause to support the allegations against you, the complaint will go on to the full BOM and you will have to defend your license. Hopefully this is a stage your complaint will never reach, but it is important to be ready for different outcomes. Fortunately, you may have legal counsel to help you defend your license if you do reach a full board hearing.