Completing medical school and starting your medical residency in Georgia are excellent accomplishments. During this new phase of your life, you'll begin to work with patients and gain real-world experience while practicing in a field you enjoy. However, residency is arguably one of the most challenging parts of your career. You must avoid making mistakes that threaten your performance and placement in the program.
Residencies are notoriously rigorous and challenging, with an added sense of responsibility different from medical school. Due to your new roles, you must be especially vigilant about how you work with others and gain experience as the program progresses. Unfortunately, many medical residents leave their programs or face dismissal due to unethical behavior or lack of progress.
Dismissal From a Georgia Residency Program
When you start your residency program in Georgia, avoid making mistakes that can potentially ruin your career and placement opportunities. These programs last for years, and as time passes, the pressure mounts to continue improving. Unfortunately, sometimes the stress of working long hours gets to a resident, which has physical and psychological repercussions. Despite these challenges, your goal is to complete your program successfully, especially since there's much competition throughout the state for placement.
Whether you've just started your program or are a seasoned resident, you must meet each level's educational and behavioral expectations to advance. As you progress in your residency, the opportunities to make mistakes increase, as does scrutiny from supervisors and program boards. Multiple errors or even a single, egregious offense leads to suspension from the program.
Ethical and Professional Behavior
Doctors are privy to some of the most personal and vulnerable aspects of the lives of their patients. They are also in a position of public trust, which means little room for error or mistakes. However, these mistakes aren't just physical – they may also be behavioral or ethical.
The American Medical Association (AMA) established the national codification of medical ethics to maintain professional standards. These standards aim to improve the quality of care residents give and act as warning signs that the resident needs to address their behaviors. Some examples of ethical or professional issues include:
- Stealing drugs or medications from the pharmacy hospital
- Discriminating against others based on race, nationality, religion, gender, and sexual orientation
- Being unable to manage stress levels which cause performance errors
- Making decisions about patient care despite known conflicts of interest
- Offering and accepting bribes
- A DUI charge
- Sexual Misconduct with fellow peers or patients
- Being under the influence while on the clock
- Using social media platforms irresponsibly
These are a few examples of actions denoting a lack of ethics and professionalism. Although your supervisors expect you to make mistakes, some are more serious in their repercussions than others.
Medical residents must have six core competencies to practice medicine as per the Accreditation Council for Medical Education (ACGME). They are:
- Medical Knowledge: Residents must have the proper knowledge and skills to work with patients. If not, they put lives in danger and may cause unnecessary suffering or exacerbate a patient's condition.
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Although you don't have to be the most eloquent person in the room, good interpersonal and communication skills are necessary for your profession. You must gain a patient's trust, speak to them clearly and understand their verbal and body language when you ask questions.
- Patient Care: Providing a high level of care is a core aspect of your profession. Since patients rely on you for their well-being, they also need you to be compassionate, reliable, available, and supportive when treating their health issues.
- Practice-based Learning and Improvement: Medical residents must continue learning and improving with time. Fundamental and outdated knowledge isn't enough to continue practicing, as new developments in the field are commonplace.
- Professionalism: You must demonstrate professionalism, responsibility, and sensibility as a doctor and medical resident.
- Systems-based Practice: Physicians and residents must understand the systems used in state and national hospitals.
Although practicing sound ethics and professionalism are an essential part of your job, you must also demonstrate competency during your residency program or face sanctions and a disciplinary board.
Sanctions and Disciplinary Actions
All teaching hospitals in Georgia have disciplinary boards that manage residents and enforce hospital and program rules. If medical residents commit professional or competency violations, they may receive sanctions that include suspension or permanent dismissal. Not all violations lead to these extreme repercussions. However, even a minor issue may cause reputational damage and delay you from completing your program.
Remember that harsh sanctions aren't just a problem during your residency. Later on, they may become barriers to employment. Fortunately, you have options to negotiate with the board if you're facing these issues.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
If you face sanctions from a disciplinary board, you need the help of a medical residency termination lawyer. A medical residency lawyer decreases the likelihood of receiving an overly-harsh penalty that has momentous consequences on your future practice.
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento has years of experience working with medical residents facing sanctions for unprofessional misconduct and competency issues. With his experience negotiating with disciplinary boards for a fair result, Attorney-Advisor Lento helps you during one of the most stressful periods in your program and seeks the best possible outcome for your case.
Hiring an attorney-advisor helps you avoid the wrongful termination of your medical residency by working with you and the board to seek a fair solution. Moreover, working with an attorney advisor doesn't mean that a lawsuit is inevitable. These professionals have the training and skills to have a conversation that leads to solutions without going the legal route.
If you or someone you love faces sanctions for professional violations or competency issues during a medical residency in Florida, don't wait until it's too late to take action. Contact the Lento Law Firm today for a discreet consultation at 888-535-3686.