Last time, we began looking at the case of an area dentist who has been subject to professional discipline in connection with the death of a teenage patient who died last year due to complications arising from oral surgery.
Cases like Tompach’s don’t happen all that frequently. By that is meant that license suspensions for dentists in Minnesota are fairly rare—between three and six are issued by the board of dentistry each year. When a medical professional is being investigated for potential license suspension, it is critical for the accused professional to work with an experienced advocate who can protect their rights and advocate their interests to help minimize the negative consequences of an investigation.
Exactly how an advocate goes about dealing with an investigation by a professional board depends on the board’s process for conducting investigations, the nature of the accusations and the evidence available in the case. State licensing boards and agencies are responsible for establishing the rules of the profession and the rules for maintaining licensure, as well as the rules governing disciplinary action.
It is particularly important for professionals to consult with an experienced advocate prior to agreeing to a settlement for disciplinary action, as occurred in Tompach’s case. These agreements can have a significant impact on a professional’s ability to practice, which can impact his or her career and financial situation, as well as everything else. Having guidance and advocacy throughout the process ensures that a professional carefully considers his or her options, doesn’t make any rash decisions, and resolves the case in the best possible way.