Graduating from medical school is the lifelong dream of many people around the world. Getting to the point where you're part of a residency program in Alaska is one of the biggest milestones you can make. You're finally at the point in your career in education where you start to work with real-life patients. Although you're technically still training, you're working on real patients, and you're expected to behave in a way that benefits your patient and your team. With all of these new responsibilities, the probability of you making a mistake is more likely.
Everyone makes mistakes, but doctors' mistakes can be life-threatening. While people in other careers are allowed to make mistakes that they can easily recover from, the types of mistakes you make as a doctor could be impossible to recover from. This is why doctors are held to a higher standard than in other industries.
Even if you're dealing with the insane work hours that many residents have to deal with, you're still expected to bring your “A” game to the table. Failure to do so could result in the loss of your residency.
Dismissal From Alaska Residency Programs
As a medical resident, any mistake that you make could cost you your career or impact it for years to come. Whether you're a brand-new, recently matched resident, or you're at the tail end of your residency program, your responsibilities will always grow. As your responsibilities grow, so do your risks. At all times, you will be judged based on how you behave as a professional, the way you interact with patients and other medical professionals, your competency, and a host of other markers. At any one of these levels, you could end up making a mistake that costs you everything.
Ethical, Personal, or Professional Behavior
The American Medical Association (AMA) has created a national codification of medical ethics. It was created to improve public health and make sure that the care that patients receive is always top-notch. Some of the violations that you could be accused of that could put your entire career at risk include the following:
- You use your social media irresponsibly
- You engage in any type of sexual misconduct
- You discriminate against other people based on sexual orientation, nationality, religious beliefs, or race
- You accept bribes
- You're unable to handle your stress in a professional manner, resulting in medical errors that affect patients and cause difficult relationships with your peers
- You make decisions about patient care despite the fact that you have a conflict of interest with the patient you're treating
- You've engaged in public intoxication or substance abuse while on the job
- You've stolen pharmaceuticals from the hospital
- You've been accused of things like DUIs or assaults
One of the most important responsibilities you have as a medical resident is to develop the competencies that will be necessary for you to become a well-rounded, successful physician. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that residents have competency in six separate areas in order to successfully practice medicine.
- Medical Knowledge: As a medical resident, your biomedical and clinical knowledge is supposed to go beyond the theoretical and into the practical. You're expected to take what you've learned in the classroom and implement those lessons in the real world.
- Patient Care: You are expected to provide top-quality patient care to your patients. This care needs to be compassionate, appropriate, relevant, and effective in helping your patients navigate their conditions.
- Professionalism: As a medical resident, you need to carry yourself with the utmost professionalism at all times. Professionalism includes abiding by ethical principles with both patients and staff.
- Interpersonal communication skills: Scientific knowledge is one part of being a doctor. The other equally crucial parts are your interpersonal and communication skills. You need to have a bedside manner that assures and reassures your patients, and you need to be able to communicate with colleagues in a way that ensures optimal patient care.
- Systems-based practice: As a medical resident, you're expected to show competency and awareness of the healthcare systems that are used in the state as long as those used across the country.
- Practice-based learning and improvement: Your residency is an opportunity for you to continue to grow and learn. Your focus should be on a constant quest for more knowledge and information that you can use in the daily application of your job. In order for you to be able to do this successfully, you will need to be introspective and in a constant state of self-evaluation. This allows you to increase your proficiency in your field over time.
Sanctions and the Disciplinary Board
Every single teaching hospital across the United States has a disciplinary board. These boards exist to enforce the hospital and program policy compliance. These boards are also responsible for sanctioning medical residents if they engage in behavior that is in violation of the policies that have been set forth by the hospital.
When a medical resident is sanctioned, the punishment can range from something as simple as a verbal reprimand to something as severe as a complete dismissal from the program and the loss of a license. Some people may think that if they're temporarily dismissed or put on probation, it's not so bad. Even those not-so-severe marks could have an impact on your future since, as a doctor in Alaska, you have to disclose any disciplinary action that was made against you while you are a resident. If there's a serious violation on your record, that may put your license to practice in jeopardy.
Many students believe that they can take on the disciplinary boards alone. They learn quickly that that's not the way to do it.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Whether you're at the beginning of your medical residency or are closing it out, your goal is to make sure that you complete the program without any major transgressions. Due to the danger of the program and the high levels of stress that you'll experience, it's very easy for mistakes to happen. Unfortunately, the mistakes that happen as a medical resident can cause you to lose your license and everything that you've worked so hard for your entire life.
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team have years of experience defending medical residents when they go before teaching hospital disciplinary boards. As a national medical resident attorney, Joseph Lento is uniquely positioned to help students who are going through exactly what you're dealing with. He has worked with teaching hospitals' general counsel teams across the United States, so he's able to negotiate alternative options for dismissal that could work for everyone.
Don't let mistakes that you've made during your residency prevent you from becoming a doctor. Call the lentil law firm today at 888-535-3686 or reach out to them via their online portal for more information.