Physicians have substance abuse problems at a rate similar to the general population. However, because they tend to shield their professional performance and image from their substance abuse issues, their disease is usually more advanced by the time it is identified. In fact, very few physicians self-report; usually, colleagues will intervene or file a complaint when they believe a physician is impaired, or patients will file a complaint with the Florida Department of Health.
Sometimes, however, a single impairment incident (e.g., a DUI offense or positive drug screen) can be the impetus that lands non-impaired physicians in Professional Resource Network (PRN) Florida. Some practitioners think PRN will protect their license; however, the truth is that a monitoring agreement with PRN can result in action against your license. Moreover, non-impaired practitioners obtain little to no benefit from the time, expense, and work limitations PRN imposes on them, and since they will be seen as “impaired,” their future employment opportunities could be limited.
If you have been referred to PRN or think you might be because of a DUI conviction, positive drug or alcohol test, accusations of drug use or drug theft, or any other reason, it’s important to contact a Florida attorney experienced in medical license defense as soon as possible. Attorney Jonathan Rose has the experience and expertise you need to prepare a strong defense and negotiate options other than PRN and Board action against your license.
Handling Referrals to PRN Florida
By providing long-term monitoring and treatment, PRN can be beneficial for doctors who have a serious substance abuse problem. However, for those who are not impaired, it can be burdensome as well as damaging to their careers.
If you’ve been referred to PRN, accused of substance abuse or drug theft, or had a positive drug test or DUI conviction but do not have a serious substance abuse problem, it may be possible to avoid PRN. With the help of an experienced attorney familiar with PRN referrals and medical license defense cases, you may be able to prove you are safe to practice medicine without PRN involvement by showing:
- You do not have a drug or alcohol addiction.
- You have had no previous positive drug tests or impairment-related complaints or investigations.
- The positive test or impairment incident was an isolated situation.
- You would not benefit from a period of monitoring, and you do not need active supervision.
- You are safe to practice medicine.
Additional drug testing, scientific evidence, expert witnesses, and evaluations by PRN-approved addiction professionals may be used to show you are safe to practice medicine without PRN intervention. If feasible, a less intrusive program than PRN’s five-year commitment and temporary relinquishment of your medical license may be negotiated.
To obtain this kind of positive outcome after a PRN referral, DUI, or positive drug test, it is necessary to get advice from a qualified medical license defense attorney before you schedule an evaluation with PRN. Attorney Jonathan Rose can help you assess the situation, determine your best course of action, and, if possible, prove to the Department of Health and relevant Board that you are safe to practice.
Defending Your Medical License
The Florida Department of Health takes allegations of substance abuse-related impairment very seriously and often tries to expedite investigations to issue an Emergency Suspension Order (ESO). An ESO suspends your Florida medical license until all proceedings are finished, making it impossible for you to practice medicine in Florida during that time period (often a year or more). Since the suspension is a matter of public record, your license in other states may also be suspended.
With the help of a qualified attorney experienced in medical license defense cases, you may, however, be able to avoid license suspension and the negative consequences for your future. Attorney Jonathan Rose may be able to defend your license by providing documentation and other evidence from reliable sources that prove you are not impaired and are not a threat to patients. If he intervenes early enough in the process, he may also be able to prevent the allegation and suspension under consideration from becoming public.
Get the Help You Need to Defend Your License, Your Career, and Your Future
When your medical license and career are at stake, you need a skilled attorney who will fight aggressively to protect your rights and your future. You need an attorney with successful experience in healthcare law and defense.
Jonathan Rose has twenty years’ experience in state and federal court. He has helped many doctors challenge administrative complaints, license suspensions, and criminal charges and has the expertise in defense and healthcare law to help protect your medical license, career, and future. He is experienced in handling physicians’ substance abuse cases and is prepared to help you achieve the best outcome for your future.
Call 407-894-4555 or submit “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website for the legal help and advice you need.