Starting a residency program in Utah after graduating from medical school is a big achievement. In residency, you will gain hands-on experience working with patients in a real-world setting. Residency still includes training, but now, you can be held accountable by both patients and supervisors for the work you do. Doctors like you have ethical duties and responsibilities towards their patients and themselves.
Your new role will be intense, and, like everyone, including your supervisors, you will make mistakes. However, society holds doctors to a higher standard, as your mistakes can mean the difference between life and death. Unlike many working people, you will be under intense pressure and scrutiny, working as much as 80 hours in a week, facing intense demands, with only a few hours to rest and recharge. This extreme working situation makes mistakes more likely. Unfortunately, any issues stemming from those mistakes may prevent you from successfully completing your residency.
Dismissal From Utah Residency Programs
Your residency training can last for seven to ten years, depending on the program, and any mistakes you make in your professional or personal life can threaten not only your reputation but your career. This is true in Utah and in other states, where national and international graduates compete for resident placement in teaching hospitals and programs.
As you advance in your residency, you will encounter pressure to comply with your program's standards. Additionally, you will face an increased risk of personal and professional issues as your competency, adherence to rules, and personal and professional behavior come under scrutiny. Issues in any of these categories may hamper your ability to advance and may even lead to your dismissal from the residency program. Chronic underperformance, multiple violations, and egregious mistakes enhance your risk of dismissal.
Personal And Professional Ethical Behavior
In other professions, people are given leeway to make mistakes. However, as a doctor, your mistakes can carry lethal consequences. In other fields, professionals are allowed to maintain some modicum of personal privacy, but as a doctor, you are in a position of public trust, and your personal and professional actions come under intense scrutiny.
To improve public health and quality of care, the American Medical Association (AMA) has established a national codification of medical ethics. Professional and ethical violations include any of the following:
- Irresponsible use of social media
- Charges of physical assault or DUI
- Actions of discrimination based on nationality, race, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation
- Acceptance of bribes
- Sexual misconduct allegations
- Theft of hospital pharmaceuticals
- Continuous issues with stress management that lead to grievances from team members and medical errors
- Ignoring conflicts of interest when making patient care decisions
Any action that demonstrates a lack of ethics can lead to sanctions or, ultimately, dismissal from your program.
While maintaining ethical standards is imperative as a resident, you must also master core competencies in the field of medicine. The Accreditation Council for Medical Education (ACGME) has delineated six areas in which residents must be competent in order to practice medicine:
- Medical Knowledge: Residents must not only have a theoretical understanding of the clinical and biomedical realms; they must also thoroughly comprehend how to apply these areas in patient care.
- Patient Care: As a medical resident, you are required to provide compassionate, high-quality care with appropriate, relevant, and effective treatment of medical issues.
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Residency prepares you for the demands of the medical profession and aims to improve your skills. Residency also requires that you consistently self-evaluate your performance while enhancing your proficiency.
- Systems-Based Practice: As a doctor, you are required to demonstrate an awareness of and competency in the healthcare systems used in Utah and throughout the US.
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills: The art of communication is essential to doctors, and you should work to increase your communication abilities as you progress through your residency. You will interact with people from various walks of life, including patients, medical staff, other doctors, supervisors, and your employees. You must effectively exchange information and collaborate with others, and your ability to communicate proficiently will reduce the likelihood of serious mistakes.
- Professionalism: Doctors are required to be responsible and professional. To maintain these qualities, you must adhere to ethical principles while maintaining a sensitivity to the needs of those around you. If you violate these tenets, you may face a variety of consequences, including the loss of your residency or your license to practice medicine.
The Disciplinary Board and Sanctions
At each teaching hospital, a disciplinary board enforces compliance with hospital and program policy. Residents may be sanctioned by this board if their behavior violates such policies. The penalty for violations can range from a verbal reprimand to program dismissal. No matter the infringement or resulting sanction, your future career may be in jeopardy.
To work as a doctor in Utah, you are required to disclose any disciplinary action you faced in your residency tenure. Depending on the violation, you may have difficulty gaining or keeping your license to practice medicine. Many residents mistakenly assume they can face a disciplinary board by themselves when faced with allegations, but this assumption may lead to disastrous, potentially career-ending consequences. For this reason, an attorney-advisor is crucial for anyone dealing with a disciplinary action by a residency program's disciplinary board.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
No matter how careful you are, mistakes will happen, as you are faced with long hours, high stress, and little rest. Unfortunately, the more severe the mistake, the higher the likelihood that your ability to practice medicine may be in jeopardy. Therefore, you need the guidance of an expert who knows how to navigate the residency and disciplinary board process.
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team have many years of experience working with medical residents facing disciplinary board sanctions throughout the United States. As a national medical resident attorney, Joseph D. Lento will negotiate with the general counsel of your program or teaching hospital to help reach a reasonable resolution and avoid the pressures of litigation. Attorney-Advisor Lento improves your chances of obtaining a favorable case outcome by using his experience, knowledge, and dedication.
A mistake could lead to wrongful termination of your medical residency. To help prevent this type of catastrophic outcome, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or send a message through the online portal to get more information.