Graduating from medical school and starting your medical career as a medical resident in Wyoming is one of the biggest milestones of your life. You're finally at the point of your journey when you'll be taking your head out of the textbooks and instead working with real-life patients in real-time settings. You'll be working with senior doctors and nurses, and you'll be seeing patients.
With all of these honors come bigger responsibilities. Even though you're still in training, you'll be expected to handle yourself as a full-fledged doctor. Your supervisors and your patients will expect you to be accountable for everything that you do. You have an ethical and practical duty and responsibility to do everything in your power to live up to your license. Because of all of these responsibilities, it's easy for medical residents to make mistakes.
In other jobs, making mistakes isn't so much of a big deal. People just get over it, and they move on. In medicine, making a mistake could have tragic consequences. It doesn't matter if you're working around the clock or you have little time to yourself. You have to be operating at optimum levels at all times. If you don't, you could end up making serious transgressions that cost you your license.
Dismissal From Wyoming Residency Programs
Any transgressions or mistakes that you make in your residency don't just stop with the residency. If you're not completely kicked out of the program, even mid-level mistakes and the sanctions that come with them can follow you around for years.
Whether you're a new medical resident or you're near the end of your program, you're always in a position of moving forward and upward. As more and more is expected of you, the likelihood of mistakes being made also increases. You will be judged by your professional and personal behavior, your level of competency, and the way you adhere to the rules of the program. Messing up on any of those levels could put your license in jeopardy.
Ethical, Personal, and Professional Behavior
When you make a mistake in other professions, it's possible for your mistakes to remain relatively unknown to the outside world. You're given an opportunity to correct them and move forward. In medicine, your mistakes are public because you're in a position of public trust. The level of training and instruction that you go through to maintain that public trust exceeds that of most professions.
The American Medical Association (AMA, has established a national codification of medical ethics. By doing so, they created an opportunity for medical institutions to improve public health and quality of care. Some of the violations that you can get in trouble for as a medical resident include the following:
● Using social media irresponsibly
● Committing sexual misconduct
● Being consistently unable to manage your stress which leads to mistakes in patient care and difficulties with your colleagues
● Accepting bribes
● Making patient care decisions in spite of there being a conflict of interest
● Discriminating against others because of their race, sexual orientation, nationality, or religious beliefs
● Behaving in an unprofessional manner due to public intoxication or substance abuse while on the job
● Getting a DUI or physical assault charge
● Stealing pharmaceuticals from the hospital
Committing any one of these ethical violations could result in you losing your medical license.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires medical residents to have competency in six areas in order to successfully practice medicine. Those areas are as follows:
Medical knowledge: You're expected to be able to take your theoretical medical knowledge and apply it to real-world circumstances
Patient care: You're expected to provide ethical, compassionate, and excellent patient care to your patients as a treatment for their issues.
Practice-based learning and improvement: Your residency is to be used as an opportunity for you to continue to grow, constantly improving your skills and rising up to meet the challenges of your profession. This type of competency requires an ability to be self-reflective and self-evaluative so that you can constantly improve.
Interpersonal and communication skills: The most brilliant doctor in the world is useless if they're unable to communicate properly with patients and colleagues. It's expected that you will treat your team members, hospital staff, and patients with the utmost respect and compassion, collaborating with them towards the furtherance of successful patient care.
Professionalism: It's expected that doctors be professional and responsible 100% of the time. They must adhere to the highest ethical principles and always be in a position where they are sensitive to the needs of others.
Systems-based practice: As a Wyoming medical resident, it's expected that you have an awareness and competency of all healthcare systems used not only in Wyoming but across the United States as well.
Sanctions and the Disciplinary Board
Teaching hospitals and programs all have disciplinary boards that exist to enforce hospital and program policy compliance. When medical residents violate these policies, they open themselves up to sanctions. Sanctions could be really minor, like verbal reprimands, or they could be extraordinarily serious, like dismissal from a program and the loss of a license.
Your transgressions during medical residency could follow you throughout your career. If you have a serious violation on your record, you could risk getting or even keeping your medical degree. Students who decide to deal with disciplinary boards on their own often regret it. They assume they'll be able to represent themselves and convince the board to allow them to continue practicing. In many cases, they end up regretting that decision.
Hiring an attorney-advisor. It doesn't matter whether you're at the beginning of your residency or if you're three years in. A major transgression could happen at any point in your program, putting your entire career at risk. Everyone makes mistakes. If you've made a mistake that has put you in front of the disciplinary board, you're going to need someone by your side who understands the nuances of how these types of situations work so that they can help you come up with a solution that pleases everyone.
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team have worked for years protecting students from the exact situation that you're going through right now. They have years of experience working with attorneys on the general counsel teams at teaching hospitals or programs, crafting solutions that benefit everyone. The ultimate goal is to avoid litigation if possible, and the Lento team understands what they need to do to make that happen.
Don't let a mistake that you've made as a medical resident cause you to lose your license. Reach out to the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or send them a message via their online portal so that you can get more information about the next steps.