Starting your residency in North Carolina is a major professional milestone. After years of sacrifice and hard work, you're done with medical school and ready to gain real-world experience. While your residency is still a training period, your peers, supervisors, and patients will hold you to the same professional standards as all doctors. Moreover, you'll need to show that you're advancing in your training, steadily improving your professional skills.
All residents will make mistakes. However, mistakes can have high life or death consequences during your residency. As a result, you'll face close scrutiny of your professional actions. You may encounter professional, ethical, or competency issues that can keep you from successfully completing your residency. When an issue arises, you need skilled legal guidance from an attorney-advisor experienced in handling medical residency issues.
Dismissal From North Carolina Residency Programs
If you're dismissed from your residency program, whether as an intern or a senior resident, it can keep you from completing the training you need to sit for your board exams and bring your medical career to a halt. Once dismissed from a residency program, you'll find it difficult to obtain admission to a new one. You may have to change your specialty or give up practicing medicine altogether. That's why ensuring you have an experienced medical residency wrongful termination attorney-advisor by your side during any disciplinary action is so urgent.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) sets forth six core competencies that all residents must master.
- Patient Care: As a resident, you must provide caring, compassionate, and high-quality care to your patients and demonstrate excellent procedural skills.
- Medical Knowledge: Residents must show competence in their medical knowledge and demonstrate an ability to work closely with patients without supervision.
- Communication Skills: As a resident, you must communicate effectively and professionally with your patients and other professionals.
- Professionalism: All residents must demonstrate the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.
- Systems-based Practice: As a resident, you must understand and work effectively using the systems of your specialty, be able to fix problems, and offer solutions.
- Practice-based Learning and Improvement: All residents must show constant improvement in their skills and knowledge and learn from hands-on training.
If you fail to meet these core competencies, or if your supervisors believe that you fail to meet these competencies, you could face disciplinary action during your residency. A medical residency lawyer or attorney-advisor can help.
Professional and Ethical Violations
Medical professionals founded the American Medical Association to establish the first national medical ethics code. Because doctors hold a special position of trust in the community and with patients, their code of ethics and professionalism ensures high quality of care and improved public health. Some examples of ethical or professional violations that residents could face leading to disciplinary actions include:
- Allegations of sexual misconduct
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Public intoxication
- A driving while intoxicated charge
- Sexual harassment
- Irresponsible social media use
- Racism, discrimination, or bias when working with patients or peers
- Showing a lack of knowledge during a medical procedure
- Failing to manage stress leading to medical errors or irritability
- A conflict of interest in making patient care decisions
- Accepting bribes
- Stealing pharmaceuticals or supplies from a hospital
- Failure to get along with peers and staff
If you violate medical professional or ethical standards, you could face disciplinary action during your residency.
Residency Disciplinary Board and Sanctions
As a resident, every teaching hospital you'll encounter will have a disciplinary board to handle issues with residents and enforce program and hospital compliance, including ethical and competency issues. If you violate hospital or program policies, you could face disciplinary sanctions from this board.
Disciplinary sanctions can vary widely based on the seriousness of the violation and whether you've had other disciplinary issues in the past. Penalties could involve:
- Verbal or written reprimands
- Suspension from a residency program
- Repeating a portion of a residency program
- Probation for some time during your residency
- Dismissal from a residency program
Even suspension or temporary removal from a residency program can affect your future career, your ability to obtain fellowships, and future job opportunities. Even a simple written warning can harm your professional reputation among your fellow residents, staff, and attending physicians. You could also face losing your resident training license from the North Carolina Medical Board.
Moreover, if you want to work as a doctor in North Carolina, you will have to disclose any disciplinary actions against you as an intern or resident. A serious violation on your record could prevent you from practicing in the state. That's why it's important to hire an experienced medical residency attorney-advisor if you're facing disciplinary action. Many residents make the mistake of thinking they can handle a disciplinary board on their own. Don't let a professional error keep you from the career you've worked so hard for.
You Need an Experienced Attorney-Advisor
A skilled attorney-advisor well versed in medical residency disciplinary issues can help. An attorney-advisor can respond to a disciplinary action on your behalf, ensuring that the board has your side of the story and all the relevant facts. Your attorney-advisor can prepare the best case possible on your behalf and ensure that the board, residency program, and hospital follow all the procedures in place to protect your rights.
Attorney Joseph Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm have represented professionals in disciplinary actions across the country. They can protect your rights during a board disciplinary action and negotiate with residency program or hospital office general counsel to reach a resolution and avoid litigation. Give the Lento Law Firm a call at 888-535-3686 or contact them online to schedule your consultation. Don't head into a medical residency disciplinary action without a skilled attorney-advisor by your side. Your professional reputation and career could be at stake, and we can help.