Board certification is different from medical licensure in that it is voluntary. However, it is an extra credential that many patients consider when they decide on their choice of physician, as it implies an exceptional level of expertise in a medical specialty. Therefore, should a candidate for board certification find him or herself denied this designation, it can have a real impact on their future career. In such a situation, it is important to take immediate action, as once a final order is issued by a certifying board there is a small window of time in which to appeal the decision. Usually once that time has passed, no appeal is possible.
When to Appeal
There are many scenarios where an appeal is necessary. Sometimes a physician is wrongly accused of cheating or other improper conduct during the board exam, such as obtaining unfair advantage. Other times a physician may want to challenge the results of a medical or dental board exam. There are many different certification organizations, but all of them have established processes for appealing a board’s decision so that the applicant receives a fair hearing. If you are challenging an exam result, the process may be as simple as requesting a rescoring or regarding of part or all of the examination. If you were accused of cheating, use of a polygraph (lie detector) test can provide evidence in your favor. If it can be proved to the hearing committee that you did not participate in the alleged behavior, did not take advantage of an opportunity to cheat, or did not have advance access to test materials, then your appeal may be successful.
A board may suspend or revoke certification privileges and these actions may also be appealed. Some actions by boards restrict a physician’s right to practice, leaving patients without care and the physician without a way to earn income. As mentioned above, it is crucial to immediately file an appeal or sometimes a temporary injunction or restraining order to block a final board order. Failure to do so can have permanent consequences that could affect your ability to obtain a license in another state, participate in Medicare and Medicaid, participate on health insurance panels, and obtain hospital privileges.
Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Those Challenging Board Certification Results
If you are thinking of challenging the results of any medical or dental board decision, do not hesitate as you may lose your chance to appeal. The experienced Philadelphia health care lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. will represent you at your hearing so that you have the best possible advantage. Call 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation at our Center City Philadelphia offices, or contact us online.