Everything's bigger in Texas, as they say, and that includes opportunities and obstacles for medical students after graduating. Starting a medical residency in Texas opens the path for career opportunities and high-caliber training that allows you to specialize in virtually any area you choose. With world-class hospitals and medical centers, you have many chances to shine and start an engaging and exhilarating career on your journey to becoming a fully-licensed doctor. However, Texas medical residencies also have private and public behavior restrictions despite the growth opportunities they afford.
As a future doctor, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of other people. Any wrong move or failure to act responsibly could land you in hot water. And while everyone will make a mistake at some point, some can ruin your future. In worst-case scenarios, your supervisor or board may impose sanctions that include suspension or termination from your residency program. Without the support and expertise of an attorney-advisor, you may not complete your program in time – or at all – as accusations cripple your progress.
Dismissal from Texas Medical Residencies
Making it to a residency program of your choice in Texas is a significant accomplishment. You'll find numerous ways to challenge yourself and train with exceptional medical staff and peers. Moreover, you have several resources available for issues relating to residencies. For example, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) website includes information on everything interns, residents, and fellows need to know regarding their rights, roles, and responsibilities. As you progress in your training, the material and the experiences become more challenging over time, and the propensity to make mistakes or errors increases.
Whether the issue is personal or professional, it can negatively reflect on your reputation. You'll face scrutiny for your behavior and competence, and failure to adhere to the rules of your program will cause issues with supervisors and administrators. Because much can happen on the job – from a heated argument with a peer near to arguing with a difficult patient, your job is to stay calm under the enormous pressure you're experiencing. Add 80-hour workweeks to the mix with little time for rest, and you have a recipe for disaster.
The Six Core Competencies of the ACGME
Medical residency programs in Texas use the six Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Core Competencies when they want to evaluate your proficiency. They are:
- Practice-based Learning and Improvement: You must show that you continuously learn from your hands-on training. Moreover, your knowledge and skills should also get better with time.
- Patient Care and Procedural Skills: Competency in this area shows your degree of patient care quality and whether your procedural methods are correct.
- Systems-based Practice: This competency determines if you effectively work in systems that relate to your specialty and have the knowledge to fix system errors and offer solutions.
- Medical Knowledge: You must prove competency in your medical knowledge to receive a license and work with patients extensively and without supervision.
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills: A positive attitude and good communication skills are integral to building relationships with patients and peers.
- Professionalism: If a doctor loses their reputation for professionalism, it usually indicates the end of their career. Always act ethically and professionally as a resident and later as a physician.
If you partake in behavior against the core competencies, it threatens your ability to remain in the program.
Ethical and Professional Violations
The physician's responsibility towards the public includes always acting ethically and professionally. As a doctor, you may face many ethical dilemmas and power imbalances between yourself, your staff, and your patients. In other cases, you'll have full access to medicine and equipment. How you choose to engage with these obstacles determines your reputation and future as a doctor.
The American Medical Association released a national codification of medical ethics to guide doctors and medical staff on boosting their quality of care. Some examples of behaviors that may cause a suspension from a residency program include:
- Engaging in violence or public intoxication
- Using social media irresponsibly
- Accusations of racism, discrimination, or bias when working with patients
- Sexual harassment or assault
- Failing to manage stress adequately leads to irritability and performance error
- Inability to get along with staff members, patients, and supervisors
- Demonstrating a lack of knowledge during a medical procedure
The above are a few examples of how professional and ethical violations can lead to a dismissal.
Like medical school, violations of the rules of your residency program lead to penalties by a hospital disciplinary board. The board enforces compliance with policies and penalizes you for mistakes. Depending on the gravity of the violation, you can face a verbal reprimand or suspension without a chance to reapply, and in worst case scenarios, you can be terminated. Even if a dismissal is temporary, it still causes loss of time and reputation damage. Moreover, it may be difficult to find another residency, especially if the alleged violation is particularly sensitive or egregious.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Although every program is different, the reasons for disciplinary action, including the prospect of dismissal or termination, remain constant in Texas medical residencies. That's why trying to handle the situation yourself without the guidance of a professional can cost you more time, effort, and money down the line. Making a mistake that threatens your chances of becoming or remaining a licensed doctor is not the end, however. If you face accusations of unprofessional behavior or performance issues, it's time to speak to a specialist.
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento works with medical residents nationwide to help them avoid receiving disciplinary actions and sanctions that can ruin their future. With his years of experience advocating for medical residents, preparing effective defenses, and negotiating with disciplinary boards, Attorney-Advisor Lento works hard for a fair deal that won't adversely impact your future as a doctor.
Hiring an attorney-advisor doesn't mean legal trouble. Having an attorney-advisor in your corner means you are protecting your rights, interests, and years of hard work and investment. Each situation is different, and Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm approach every case with care and knowledge.
If you face allegations of unprofessional behavior, poor performance, or other concern in your Texas medical residency program, don't wait until it's too late. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a discreet consultation at 888-535-3686.