Graduating from medical school is the achievement of a lifetime. Starting a residency program in South Dakota is a huge milestone for you. This is the part of your educational journey where you'll be finally getting the opportunity to work in the real world, gain actual experience, and work with real-life patients in real-time settings.
You're technically still in training, but your patients, teammates, and supervisors will be holding you accountable for everything that you do. Even as a new doctor, you have a responsibility and an ethical duty towards your patients, the hospital, and yourself. Because of these responsibilities, you will sometimes make mistakes simply due to the fact that you are so new.
This isn't unique to you: everyone makes mistakes, including doctors who are very senior to you. The difference is that society holds doctors to a much higher standard than it holds people in other industries. This is because the mistakes you make as a doctor can have devastating effects on someone's life. Even if you're dealing with the issues like having to work 80+ hours a week on very little sleep, you're still responsible. Unfortunately, the mistakes you make could actually prevent you from completing your residency.
Dismissal From South Dakota Residency Programs
When you're a resident, any mistake you make on either a personal or professional level could threaten your career for years to come.
Whether you're just starting out your residency or you're further along, your responsibilities will only grow with time. The South Dakota Medical Association website has all the info you'll need on what's expected of you as a doctor. With those increased responsibilities come greater risks. You will be being judged based on your professional behavior, your personal interactions, your competency, and many other different levels. On each of these levels, you could make errors that could end up having you dismissed from the program.
Ethical, Personal, or Professional Behavior
In other professions, people are given leeway to make mistakes. As a doctor, you don't get those considerations.
The American Medical Association (AMA) has established a national codification of medical ethics. It's been created to improve public health and help ensure that the quality of care that patients receive is always top-notch. Some of the professional and ethical violations you could be accused of include the following:
- Using your social media irresponsibly
- Engaging in sexual misconduct
- Accepting bribes
- Inability to handle your stress, causing you to make medical errors and causing problems with your team members
- Discriminating against other people based on sexual orientation, religious beliefs, nationality, or race
- Making decisions regarding a patient's care in spite of having a conflict of interest with the patient
- Engaging in public intoxication or substance abuse while on the job
- Being accused of a DUI or a physical assault
- Stealing pharmaceuticals from the hospital
You could be the most ethical resident in the world, but you won't move ahead in medicine if you are not able to master the core competencies required in the medical field. The Accreditation Council for Medical Education requires that residents have competency in six areas to practice medicine:
- Medical Knowledge: Since you're a resident, it's expected that your expertise in biomedical and clinical knowledge goes far beyond the theoretical. You must be able to take that knowledge and apply it to actual patient care.
- Patient Care: As a medical resident, you're required to provide top-quality, compassionate care that's relevant, appropriate, and that provides an effective treatment of the health issues that your patients are dealing with.
- Professionalism: You need to carry yourself in a professional manner. This means adhering to ethical principles and making sure that you are always sensitive to the needs of others. Violation of these principles could lead to major issues and could cost you your license or your residency.
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Being a doctor is not just about science. It's also about being able to master the art of interpersonal skills and communication. You'll be speaking with everyone from doctors to patients to supervisors and staff. By knowing how to effectively communicate with everyone, you'll lessen the likelihood of errors that could lead to the death of a patient. It also allows people to feel more comfortable cooperating in an exchange of information with you.
- Systems-based Practice: You must be able to show competency and awareness of healthcare systems used across the country and in the state of South Dakota.
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Your residency is an opportunity to learn. This means that you should constantly be on a quest towards improving your skills and preparing yourself for all of the challenges that you could face in your profession. This requires an ability to be introspective and perform constant self-evaluations so that you increase your proficiency over time.
Sanctions and the Disciplinary Board
Every single teaching hospital has a disciplinary board. It exists to enforce hospital and program policy compliance. Residents may get sanctioned by the board if they engage in behavior that is in violation of the policies set forth by the hospital. Depending on the violation, penalties can range from nothing more than a verbal reprimand to being completely dismissed from the program. Even students who are simply put on probation or temporarily dismissed can experience serious issues down the road as a result of those sanctions.
To continue to work as a doctor in South Dakota, you have to disclose any disciplinary action that you incurred as a resident. If there's a serious violation on your record, you may not be able to continue to keep your license to practice. One mistake that many students make when facing the disciplinary board is that they face it alone. Many have found out the hard way what a bad decision that is.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Whether you're just starting out your residency or you're a third-year resident on the verge of completing your program, completing the program without any major transgressions is key. Even the most astute and responsible of students can make mistakes. Unfortunately, those mistakes could actually prevent you from practicing medicine. If you're facing sanctions, you need someone on your side who can help you navigate through this process.
Medical residency lawyer Joseph D. Lento and his team have years of experience working with medical residents just like you across the nation who are facing sanctions from a disciplinary board. As a national medical resident attorney, Joseph Lento is able to negotiate with teaching hospitals' general counsel teams so they can avoid litigation and negotiate a solution and resolution that works for both sides. His years of experience help increase the chance of you having a favorable outcome for your situation.
Don't let a mistake made during the most stressful period of your life ruin your medical career. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or reach out to them by sending a message via the online portal for more information.