Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Discusses How Physicians Can Avoid Inappropriate Contact with Patients

Physicians are placed in complicated positions every day.  They must touch patients’ bodies and interact with patients in full or partial undress.  They must touch patients’ genitals in the course of exams. They deal with distraught patients.  On top of all of this, they have to maintain a positive bedside manner without appearing affectionate or too jovial. This is a challenging tightrope walk, and misperceptions and missteps frequently give rise to allegations of inappropriate contact with patients.

If you are a physician in Kansas or Missouri facing an allegation of misconduct involving inappropriate conduct with a patient, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Your career, reputation, and livelihood are at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot work your way through alone.

Tips for Avoiding Allegations of Misconduct for Physicians

Know when to step aside—if a patient expresses misgivings about you performing a procedure or examination because of your gender, you can tell them many things about your training and professionalism to make them feel better.  However, in that situation, it is probably a better idea to ask a physician to step in that the patient feels comfortable with.

Go out of your way to respect the patient’s privacy—make privacy one of the hallmarks of your practice.  Make sure that the patient can dress and undress in a private setting and only touch and expose the patient’s body to the degree necessary.  Before touching the patient, explain what you are doing and why and ask whether the patient consents. By making this your default manner of engaging with all patients all the time, you have developed defense if you are accused of touching a patient inappropriately.

Bring in a third party—if you are performing a particularly invasive examination, ask a medical assistant to join you in the examination room after getting the patient’s consent. Having a third party present is the best possible way to insulate yourself from subsequent allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Maintain your professionalism—Never joke about a procedure or a patient’s body.  Do not talk about other patients, even if you do not use their names.  While you may find your comments amusing, it is likely that they are unsettling to a patient, especially one that does not know you very well.

What Should You Do if an Allegation is Leveled Against You?

Do not downplay the seriousness of any employer or medical board inquiry into your conduct.  Similarly, I have seen many physicians try to “help” investigators by providing a statement early in the process—this is a massive mistake.  If allegations of misconduct arise against you, do not discuss them with anyone—not coworkers, not loved ones, and not on social media—and contact an experienced licensing attorney immediately.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now for the Advice You Need

As a physician, you are trained to touch patients in a consensual manner that is appropriate to the examination or treatment you are providing. Your professional conduct can be misconstrued, however, leading to allegations of misconduct. You have worked too hard to attain your medical license to lose it because you failed to attain professional legal advice when you needed it. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney now can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients and losing your career forever.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend your medical license. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with professional licensing issues.