Your Regulatory Board is Not Your Friend

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
Your Regulatory Board is Not Your Friend

Call Your Malpractice Provider & Attorney First

Most chiropractors generally think that if there is anything to worry about in regards to malpractice related issues its actually getting sued and being accused of negligence and malpractice for violating the standard of care.

While all practitioners should be sure that they have a risk management plan in place to deal with day to day clinical challenges that might evolve into a lawsuit, what they tend to forget about are complaints to the regulatory board that controls their license and investigations arising from that Board.

I understand that chiropractic is a healing profession and that its providers are generally helpful and caring and that one might be led to believe that chiropractors sitting on a regulatory board will bring that same sense of compassion to a board complaint or investigation.

That is a big mistake.

Regulatory boards exist to protect the PUBLIC - not to protect the chiropractor. Getting on a board is typically a political process and within chiropractic there are various factions of the profession trying to get their representatives appointed to the state boards.  This means that depending on your practice style and how it resonates or doesn't with the board, you could end up in a highly adversarial situation with a bulls eye on your back.

In over 30 years of defending chiropractors in malpractice and regulatory matters I have seen too many unwary practitioners become victims of disciplinary fervor. To keep their licenses, most of these doctors will submit to what’s demanded of them and they will stay silent to protect their reputations.

This can lead to losing everything professionally.

If you receive a letter from your regulatory board or a Board investigator contacts you - immediately contact your malpractice provider and then your lawyer.

Unlike in a civil case, Boards can presume you’re guilty and ignore exculpatory evidence. Unlike in a criminal case, Boards don’t have to advise you of your civil rights because you don’t have any. They can even coerce you into medically unnecessary treatment, rob you of your personal freedom, publicly defame you and deprive you of your livelihood, all with complete impunity.

State legislatures cannot abridge the civil rights of its citizens. However, they allow state regulatory boards to do so based on the rationale that health care professionals must adhere to higher standards than average citizens. While that is understandable, boards should not be allowed to violate your civil rights when evaluating whether or not you are adhering to those standards.

When faced with a board complaint or investigation chiropractors tend to think they are no big deal and that they can clear up the misunderstanding with a quick e-mail, call or letter to the board. Some just ask their attorney friends for advice which is another big mistake. Even if your attorney friend specializes in regulatory law he or she is not your attorney and is not representing you.

Don't do it.

When faced with any accusation, complaint or investigation arising from your regulatory board pick up the phone and call your malpractice provider before you do anything and then speak with your attorney.

As always we look forward to your feedback, comments and suggestions.

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program