The rolling hills and beautiful landscapes of Illinois aren't just a great place to live. With over 12 million people, this Midwest state has excellent medical residency programs and many opportunities for doctors to practice medicine with a diverse population and skilled medical teams. Being a medical resident in Illinois is an exciting new experience that sets the stage for your career. However, you must demonstrate compliance with the rules and consistently evaluate your performance to ensure that you complete your program successfully.
Your residency program will incur long hours and challenge you to be a better version of yourself like medical school. However, the long workweeks, new experiences, and the chaos of working in a hospital setting may prove too stressful for some to handle. Even if unintentional, these residents engage in behaviors that severely harm their progress and prevent them from completing their program appropriately. Unfortunately, allegations of misconduct or lack of competence can lead to sanctions and, in worst-case scenarios – dismissal.
Dismissal from an Illinois Medical Residency Program
No medical student graduates and starts a residency expecting to face issues. However, since these programs take years to complete, mistakes will happen even if one has the best intentions. Your supervisors understand that mistakes and errors will occur during your training. On the other hand, more severe violations that adversely affect yourself or others may land you in hot water. Two of the broad reasons the latter happen are competency issues and behavioral misconduct.
Competency is one of the main issues, especially if you don't show improvement over time. Since medical residencies take years to complete, your knowledge should advance with time. If it does not, you may not satisfy the requirements of your program. As for misconduct, your behavior remains under scrutiny even when you're not actively working. If you commit a severe ethical violation, such as, for example, sexual misconduct, your chances of remaining in your program also decrease.
Supervisors evaluate how “good” you are and how you progress through the program using the six core competencies. Developed by the ACGME in the 1990s, these competencies help determine whether your medical knowledge and methodologies are up to par with modern standards. They are:
- Medical Knowledge: During your residency, you must prove that your medical knowledge is sound, updated, relevant, and applicable. Moreover, your skills and expertise must improve each year.
- Practice-based Learning and Improvement: After graduating from medical school, you know theory and clinical procedures. During your residency program, you must show that you can apply them in real-world settings. As with your medical knowledge, your practical work must improve over time.
- Patient Care and Procedural Skills: Patient care is at the core of your profession. Taking care of your patients is your responsibility. Your supervisors evaluate the quality of that care and how strong your procedural skills are while you apply them to patients.
- Systems-based Practice: Healthcare systems are an integral part of the field, and they grow more sophisticated with time. Physicians must always stay abreast of the latest system-based practices that apply in Illinois and countrywide.
- Professionalism: As a physician, your patients and colleagues look up to you due to your knowledge, discipline, and patience. These are fundamental tenets of a doctor's personality and represent how professional you are. When it comes to professionalism, lapses in judgment cause reputation damage if you aren't careful.
- Interpersonal and Communication skills: Although the main highlight of your profession is your knowledge, you must also be an excellent communicator. Since you work with people of varying life experiences, you must use your knowledge and personality to relay messages clearly and effectively to others.
Unfortunately, some medical residents cannot satisfy all competencies appropriately, causing issues with their supervisors or affiliated institutions. If they do not improve, they risk sanctions or dismissal for chronic underperformance.
Behavioral and Ethical Misconduct
Medical residents are the new generation of doctors. Not only must their knowledge be up to par, but they must also demonstrate professionalism and ethical standards that highlight their accomplishments and discipline. Since you are in a position of public trust, patients and society hold you to a higher standard of conduct.
The core principles of healthcare ethics are:
Going against these principles comes in many forms, such as engaging in conflicts of interest and performing an unnecessary medical procedure. As for misconduct and behavioral issues, they include:
- Intoxication or becoming addicted to controlled substances
- Inability to manage your stress and the pressure of the residency program
- Anger issues and violent outbursts
- Sexual misconduct or harassment
- Taking or offering bribes
- Discriminating against patients based on race, gender, age, or nationality
Although each case is different, the outcome is the same in that your professional behavior comes under question. It is one thing to feel overwhelmed – it is entirely another when it's a chronic issue that makes you lash out at others.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Your path to becoming a doctor is not all smooth sailing, and many incidents happen by the time your program ends. Some errors or mishaps have solutions. Others, especially if they are egregious in nature, require the guidance of a professional Attorney-Advisor who understands what is at stake.
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento has years of experience working with medical residents facing allegations of misconduct and competence issues. With his studied approach and strong negotiation skills, Attorney-Advisor Lento works with you and the disciplinary panel for a positive outcome to your case. Regardless of the nature of the violation, every medical resident deserves due process. Attorney-Advisor Lento works closely with you and your panel to help work out a solution that has the least impact on your reputation.
Don't let allegations of misconduct or lack of competence end your dream of becoming a doctor. You worked hard and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach this point. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for a consultation.