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Your Medical License is Revoked – Now What?

Unless you have done something absolutely appalling, it’s a sinking feeling to discover that your medical license is revoked. It doesn’t happen overnight, so you probably knew it was coming, but you are still left with having to figure out the next steps.

Letter from the Medical Board

I got a certified letter from the medical board that they have decided to revoke my medical license and impose a $10k financial penalty plus any financial cost they incurred conducting their investigation.

When the medical board reaches its final decision, it will send you a certified letter with that decision. A more structured document will be included, which will include the wording that will enter your public record. In my case, it’s the events surrounding the investigation.

The document that was mailed to me concluded with their justification for reaching their particular verdict of revoking my license and the sanctioned fines.

Though it is a final decision of the medical board, I still have the right to a hearing which I must request within 30 days of their certified letter. If I don’t reply to them, then it becomes a default judgment and they will proceed with their intended actions.

The Medical Board Hearing

The letter from the medical board will often contain a date by which you need to reply to the medical board to request a hearing.

During this hearing, my lawyer and I can try to negotiate the details of the judgment. There isn’t much room for negotiations because this isn’t an appeal – just a hearing.

The wording of the public statement from the medical board is a common item to address during the hearing. For example, they might want to use a word such as “theft & deceit,” and we may ask to change it to “unprofessional conduct”.

I can also contest the medical board’s decision during this hearing, but I would have to cite something substantial. In my case, we will likely cite that the facts the medical board has from my ex-employer are erroneous and manufactured.

Depending on which state you practice in, there is some room to bring statements of facts from involved individuals to make your case.

Requesting Records From The Medical Board

In order to prepare for the hearing, your lawyer will request all the facts that the medical board investigation team has collected. This will include interviews of involved individuals, testimonies, and employment records.

Having the medical board change such a drastic decision is a long shot, but if there are obvious flaws and errors in the facts of the case, then it can give me a chance to keep my medical license.

After The Hearing

The board usually gets back to you within a few weeks after the hearing. Depending on your bargaining tools, they might alter their final judgment and comply with some of your requests.

Otherwise, they can stick to their original decision to revoke your medical license and that’s when your license would need to be forfeited. You still have an option to appeal the medical board’s decision but you won’t have a medical license in the meantime.


I discussed the appeal process in previous posts. I can appeal their decision after it goes into effect by having my lawyer file the appeal with the medical board.

The appeal process would involve me hiring my own investigator, subpoenaing records, conducting interviews, putting together a case, and meeting with the medical board once again.

After the first round of appeals before an administrative judge, I have the option of appealing to a higher court. This is the 2nd and final appeals option.

Regardless of the ruling of the higher courts, the medical board can still overrule the higher court’s decision and still maintain my license to be revoked. This is an interesting veto power that the medical board maintains.

A Revoked License Isn’t Permanent

Once your license is revoked, you have a 3 year minimum waiting period before you can petition for your license to be reinstated. This varies from state to state but it seems to be commonplace.

This process is lengthy, tedious, and of course lucrative for the lawyers involved. You and your lawyer would gather character witnesses, statements from employers, CME certificates, volunteer letters, remediation course letters, and psychiatric evaluations in order to put together a case to petition the medical board to reinstate your medical license.

You can then request that your license get reinstated. This might be a contingent license or you might have your medical license reinstated fully. Obviously, it all depends on the medical board and the potency of your petition.

Decision To Appeal

Whether you decide to appeal the medical board’s decision immediately or you decide to wait 3 years before asking for your medical license to be reinstated, you must continue and begin the following actions:

  • get CME credits
  • perform community/volunteer work
  • take remediation courses
  • get multiple psych evaluations
  • get character witnesses
  • have a lot of fucking money

The Cost to Fight

None of this is cheap and regardless of the cost estimates your lawyer gives you, it will likely be far more.

Not only will you have to see a psychiatrist, take remediation courses, take CME courses, and travel for some of these courses, but you’ll also have to pay your lawyer, pay an investigator, pay for a notary, etc.

Whatever money you’ll lose directly will be compounded by your inability to earn an income.

Nothing is Guaranteed

Just because you initiate an appeal doesn’t mean the judgment will be overturned. The medical board can make the final decision unless you decide to sue the medical board which would require celebrity money.

Even if in the end you win the appeal and the medical board changes their mind, you are still out of the money and time you spend appealing. It’s not like the medical board will apologize to you and use taxpayer money to reimburse you. 

In fact, the boulder rolls down the hill and other things tend to compound. For example, someone might claim you are unethical because you’re calling yourself a Family Medicine physician, a term trademarked by the ABFM. Who would have known?!

Debt & Income & Principalities

I figure there are 3 different types of situations when a physician will decide to fight the medical board:

1. Principalities. You are butthurt to the level of N and are not willing to take it lying down. Call it justice, call it principles, call it ego, call it a loss of identity … you’re going to fight this until you run out of money. 

2. Mega Debt. If you have a massive mortgage, you can always sell the house and rent. But if you have a hefty student loan balance, then nobody will forgive that debt even if you lost your medical license.

3. Need For Income. If you have no other way to earn an income and cannot fathom doing anything other than medicine, then you’ll likely spend everything you have to get your medical license back.

Your Tainted Medical License

Finally, before you decide to fight to get your medical license back on an appeal, it’s important to understand that you will have one fucked up personal record.

In the eyes of malpractice insurers, employers, and future malpractice cases you are the ex-con of medicine.

Just because you have your medical license back doesn’t mean you can get a job. And once you have a job then you might be looking over your shoulder every minute.

Should the unfortunate day come when you finally get sued as a physician then your medical board investigation will be brought up in court and you’ll have to defend that as well. 

Emotional Consequences

There is absolutely nothing different about you as an individual right before and right after having your medical license revoked. You are a unique person with your unique group of friends, a good lifestyle, interesting hobbies, and goals.

However, if your identity was caught up with being a physician then you are going to have a tough time accepting the new circumstances.

You’ll likely already have gone through the blame stage and are trying to deal with acceptance. The problem is that these medical board investigations are meant to constantly provide new disruptions – often making you relieve old emotions.

Find your routine again, whether it was reading at a cafe or hanging out with friends and family or going to the gym. Everything will likely feel more tasteless because your medical license is on your mind.

Take a trip and get the fuck out. Change your environment when you’re in a rut, not to escape problems but to bolster your senses and lighten your perception of the situation.

Feelings of despair, suicide, impending doom, anxiety, insomnia, worry, blame, and other emotions are perfectly normal. Our society makes you feel like a criminal for having such thoughts – nothing wrong with them, just a way for your body to cope. Be patient and take that gun out of your mouth.


I don’t know if this is a good analogy but I have been thinking of a revoked medical license as going bankrupt. I then think about all the successful entrepreneurs who have fought their way back up from bankruptcy to eventual success.

It sucks giving up your $100-$500/hour income but you obviously have a skill that’s highly valued by society. There are many ways of returning from this kind of legal disaster, it’s just a matter of how you’ll do it. You can consult, teach, lecture, write, edit within medicine or start a completely unrelated business.

Whether you decide to pursue the matter or not it’s important to get solid legal advice. You’ll need to find the kind of lawyer who has dealt with the medical board before. This lawyer will have to have filed petitions, conducted investigations, and been present with clients during hearings.

The decisions are up to you but your lawyer can give you great advice and give you a good sense of what to expect. A competent lawyer will also have experience with the many emotional turmoils his/her client deals with – my lawyer did a fantastic job with that.

A good lawyer will also have connections – inside connections in the medical board. They can find out the ‘progress’ of your case because they know the lawyer(s) on the opposing side.

There are annual nerdy lawyer meetings where they are invited to speak to medical boards or have representatives do that. This further gives them inside information that can benefit you. You can determine if your lawyer’s law firm is part of such meetings.

Word of Mouth

Lawyers, like doctors, aren’t found on Yelp. You’ll need a word-of-mouth referral. Start talking to your lawyer friends and some older physicians – ideally someone who has dealt with the medical board in the past.

Once you get the referrals it’s helpful to sit down with the lawyer. Unfortunately, ‘vibes’ and ‘first impressions’ aren’t reliable metrics but you will need to work with this person a lot over the next few months/years so it should be someone whom you can sit across for hours at a time.

Employment & Finances

As soon as you have something like a medical board investigation on your hands, it’s important to go into emergency financial lockdown. Do it even if you think you have a slam-dunk case as I thought I did.

Legal fees, conferences, consulting fees, and unnecessary CME’s will eat up your savings quickly.

Money gives you options – option to suffer through the bullshit or cut the rope. Should you sit through more medical board investigation hearings just to be berated and belittled? If you have enough money and other sources of income then you can make the right decision for you.

Employment After

You’ve read my blog, you know all the different things that I do to earn an income. I realized a long time ago that I have a target painted on my white coat – it’s just that most shots had missed the target so far.

If you are on good terms with your medical group, then ask for a position within the organization where you don’t need to use your medical license. For this matter, it’s best to reach higher than HR and contact organizational leaders.

Have some good recommendation letters, a list of skills that you might have, and be prepared to take a pay cut but at least you’ll have less financial stress. 

There are plenty of medical groups who have moved their physicians from direct patient care into management positions once they lost their medical licenses.

Well-Intentioned Friends/Family

If you choose to share the progress of your case with family and friends, you’ll get a rainbow of different opinions. Each person often is telling you what they would do for themselves if they were in your shoes. They aren’t giving you an objective opinion.

However, most of us have that one aspy friend who can separate the facts from emotions quite well and that’s probably a good person to run things by.

Your decision to appeal or not to appeal, to fight or to walk away is a personal one that nobody can make for you. Staying and fighting your revoked medical license means spending a lot of money. Can you be okay with the potential outcome or will you beat yourself up? Are you the uber-conservative cautious type? Then maybe it’s better for you to stay and fight. Are you confident that you’ll land on your feet regardless? Then maybe cutting your losses makes the most sense.

Medical License in Other States

I hope that you have multiple state medical licenses in order to protect yourself from a revoked medical license.  If you don’t then you’ll have a hard time applying for one during a medical board investigation.

The common practice by other states is to take the same action as your investigating medical board, namely to revoke your license. Your state’s medical board will disseminate their final decision of a revoked medical license to all the other states through a national database and you’ll soon be corresponding with other medical boards in other states where you are licensed.

To appeal each state’s decision or negotiate with them you’ll likely need a lawyer in that particular state unless you decide to do it yourself, in which case you can keep your current lawyer and have them help you draft your appeals process. But they won’t be able to represent you and they won’t know the legal scene in the other state as well.

41 replies on “Your Medical License is Revoked – Now What?”

This is unbelievable! I am shocked that California has revoked your medical license for such a crazy incident! Are they one of the harsh medical boards? My heart goes out to you. This medical investigation should never have started in the first place.

California and Texas are known to be among the strictest. Thanks dude, I appreciate the sentiment. All the money and time I spent and the emotional turmoil just to get the harshest punishment seems absurd – not that I could have foreseen this but it seems excessive. Once I get the go-ahead from my lawyer I’ll share the letter on here a well because the tone is very harsh as to why they decided on this max punishment.
Share it with other physician colleagues – this is the shit that we need to be exposed to before we end up having to deal with the medical board.
I am working on another post interviewing this addiction counselor who only works with physicians who have gotten into trouble with the medical board – really nice man who has been doing this for 35 years and he was saying how terribly the medical board handles reprimanding physicians.

The whole ordeal just seems so unfair and unnecessarily harsh. I am sorry this happened to you and I do wish you the best in getting past this!

Thank you for your support Judy. I agree that it’s unnecessarily harsh though I haven’t yet reached the conclusion that it’s also unfair. If by unfair we mean that “I deserve better” or that I am “victimized” then I don’t see it that way yet. I didn’t know that the medical board is out to get doctors and that they are shockingly strict when it comes to the Medical Practice Act. Had I known then I would have handled the situation differently.
It was a great learning experience and it’s been an interesting journey. I can’t wait until it’s all over.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey down a path no one wants to take. You have been incredibly frank and shared a lot of personal details that others gloss over. Your blog opened the door to the world of financial independence for me. After reading about your experiences with the medical board and your former employer, I’m grateful to be in a position not to NEED my job. You helped me prioritize that freedom and provided step by step directions for new adventures. (In the past I thought idly about moving to Spain—now I know exactly what I need to do to get a visa). Thanks again. Best wishes for YOUR next adventure.

Shit! You’re like my Doppelgänger – minus the medical board experience, I hope. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad the writing has helped you.
Kudos to unhinging yourself from your job. I wish we didn’t have to do it but it might be good for everyone involved. We learn to appreciate our jobs more by not needing the income and employers will value us if they know we have options – it’s good for everyone.

Dr. Mo

Thank you for sharing your experience, I’m struggling to bounce back from a licencing board complaint and subsequent resignation of my counseling license.
I could benefit from talking to the counselor you mentioned in this post. Did you write that follow up article?
Here’s my experience, just scan down my story to the Accused part if you are interested:

Again, sincere thanks for sharing,

Wow, that wasn’t easy to read but thank you for sharing.
The counselor I’ve spoken to only deals with professionals with substance abuse. I haven’t been able to get him to respond further so I won’t be writing that article anytime soon. What are your current options with relicensing?

I am a Naturopathic physician who lost her license in Washington state for using apricot kernels to help cancer patients! I had no extra money to fight those rat bastards!!
I have the most wonderful site for all of you to check out;
This is a legitimate/Sovereign medical board that you can belong to so that you can start practicing once again:
I can practice in most states now with this sovereign license.
I hope this helps most all of you!!
I am also happy to train you at a small charge to get you up to speed on Natural medicines, if need be. Im at

Lucinda, sorry to hear about your troubles with the medical board. There have been many physicians and naturopaths who have had to face the medical board for their way of practicing medicine and making health claims. The ones with the most legal money behind them (institutional, book publishers) come out really well even if they have to appear before a congressional board.
There is only so much I can learn about the First Nation Medical Board from their website so I’ll reach out to you and let’s see what information we can bring to the readers here about them.

Thank you for sharing this all online. I think this is one of the few blogs I have seen. Ironically I worked for the same cooperation as you and faced similar experience as you….only my saga is still ongoing. I heard the Med Boards are punishing doctors more. I can’t believe they did this to you over a stupid incident. It’s also comforting to hear your emotional responses too–mine is quite similar. Are you able to practice medicine now?

Sorry to hear about your experience as well. Seems that the medical boards are coming after doctors more. There is disturbing data on them colluding with independent law groups and PHP’s and physician courses. My own lawyer confirmed that they get together with the medical boards for this purpose which is why they have so much inside-data on them. And the San Diego PACE program I took said that they meet with the California Medical Board regularly to adjust their program. Odd, when those are all private entities.
I’m not able to practice medicine now. Can’t get hired anywhere. I am earning my income doing healthcare consulting and some medical consulting on Just Answer.


Thanks Dr Mo for being so informative and so forthcoming. That way other practitioners are more comfortable to share their misadventures in their medical journey. Having been also a victim of the system and having lost my license I am open to other opportunities such as indigenous medicine. I will contact Lucinda who was so kind as to share her story and offer to help with training in Natural medicine and to share the link for involvement in Indigenous medicine .

If you are a medical professional you have a ton of other options so don’t just consider another medical license in another system but also consider where else you can bring value. Whether it’s consulting or creating products or starting a business or coaching. There is always a need for your knowledge, regardless of how you dispense it. They can take your license away but not your knowledge. But it’s still up to you to reinvent yourself and do something else with your knowledge. You can go a traditional route and teach or get a further degree (MPH or MBA) and go into administration.

First of all, thank you so much for your informative article. My brother-in-law has lost his license in NY state, and I can’t believe how harsh the whole experience has been. Every person involved (on the state disciplinary side) has been so attacking throughout this whole process. He has done everything he’s supposed to do for the last 5 + years: Random drug testing, AA, psych evaluations, and more. He has been sober and tested clean for that time. He has never been accused of stealing drugs or being on drugs, except that he had consumed alcohol while on call and was caught and penalized at that time. He then got a ticket for reckless driving, triggering a whole review by the licensing board, OPMC, etc. (not sure of which entities or order of events, as I’m not a physician nor do I have access to all info). He just had a hearing today, and according to my sister, it was very attacking in nature (still, after years of this). Not very encouraging. Don’t the state licensing entities want to help doctors at all? His life and his family’s lives have been torpedoed by this. He is 59 years old and this is what he knows. I just can’t believe that there is no way for him to get help to get his career back on some sort of terms rather than getting shamed, attacked, and treated like a complete P.O.S. throughout this whole process.

The process is unfortunately meant to be punitive. The individuals who are on the medical board often take on such positions because they believe that they adhere to a higher moral standard and that they can cleanse the medical system of ill-fitting physicians. There is no oversight and the only doctors who get any headway are the ones who lawyer up heavily and spend a ton of money. Many of the doctors who have contacted me on here have spent well over $150,000 and have gone through several lawyer. But, I must say, the right lawyers can make the medical board members shit their pants enough to give up and go after easier targets.
I am sorry about your BIL – it’s a hard to thing for me to read every time and I know he and his family and his patients all suffer because of this.
If it helps you cope with this better, write a letter to your representative and address your concern. Remember that you are supposedly represented by the medical board; after all, they are meant to protect the public from doctors. Write a short paragraph and express your disapproval of such a process.
If you want to treat doctors as infallible creatures and hold them to some unrealistic moral standard then pay them an infallible salary – I would calculate somewhere around $5 million a year – that should be enough to treat and prosecure doctors the way we are now.
If he needs any moral support he’s welcome to email me or call me ( There are many options outside of practicing medicine and though it takes some effort to get them going, he doesn’t have to suffer through this bullshit.

Hi again
Thanks, Dr. Mo, for your encouraging words and support to everyone. It feels good to have a shoulder to complain, cry and lean on. As least someone is listening and responding. He may not have all the answers but he listens and empathizes.
After a medical license revocation, it is almost impossible to get into other ventures, like teaching or getting other licenses like real estates, etc. ( even working for Uber or lyft, for that matter, Lol). Background check is a killer. It is a DOA. Reapplying for a medical license, although tedious, burdensome, expensive, uncertain is still an alternative that one should try, if medicine is the only thing one swears by.
I do appreciate the advice of reinventing oneself, although it is a difficult process for some who have been thinking medicine most of their life. It would pay to have access to some more specific ventures. Anyone who is aware of any specific alternative would be a great help to those traveling the lonely path of self-reinvention if they could share any links or contacts or advice. ( sometimes you wonder: what can i do? what to invent? You wish you had the mind of those guys like Jeff Bezos, Steve Job, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg or wish you were a skilled musician, a talented athlete. Lol) . But it is really lonely and cold back there, at the other end of the stick!
Does applying for a certificate of relief from civil disability or certificate of good conduct sound a reasonable step towards opening some doors? At least for a job?

I would say the whole premise of this blog is that you should find something other than medicine to identify with because it’s such an engrossing career. It’s easy to not just practice medicine but be a doctor. I would have no problem identifying and dedicating most of identity to medicine – I truly love it that much. But it’s not the kind of love that’s reciprocal. Someone, anyone, can yank that license away from you and, exactly as you said, you’ll be left with no other opportunities. Who wants to hire a failed doctor?
As for honesty and fairness – why are there so many doctors who post anonymously on a website like this? Because we are afraid to even express ourselves as physicians. For those reasons, I think it’s a good idea to develop another skill on the side, to build another skill, something you can rely on in case medicine takes a shit all over your life.
As for reinventing yourself… inventing something, sure, I could see that as an option but I don’t think any of the public figures you mentioned were impressive people when they first started out. 100’s of others like them had the same ideas but they were the ones who got lucky, who got the right traction, and who made it.
I would suggest going after something mainstream like computer programming, real estate management, owning a business, managing a practice… something that has a fairly well-established path. Make it something you enjoy and grow into that field. Fuck all that licensing shit … for some of us, licensing just wasn’t meant to be.

I have a friend who is an MD who just got his license suspended at a prelim hearing, not for incompetence, but for writing prescriptions for a woman who he was infatuated with. He’s always had this weakness for women.

Anyway, the proof was pretty damning.

I am wondering if you have any knowledge about a doctor with a suspended or revoked license still being able to testify on medical issues in personal injury cases? I can employ him that way to help him out, as I am an attorney.

Please let me know if you have heard anything on this. From what I can find so far, it appears possible in our state of Texas.

In most states a physician with a suspended or revoked license wouldn’t be allowed to even do quasi health related work. They couldn’t act as a medical expert or use their medical knowledge because it would violate their licensure agreement.
It will depend on your state but if they do allow it, you would have to likely disclose that the doc isn’t licensed. And in some states, as of now California, you’ll have to list any suspensions or previous issues even your doc friends gets his medical license reinstated.

I am dealing with medical board for last 4 years. First they asked me to take Probation when I agreed then they denied and went for suspension of my license. I am under lot of stress due to financial pressure and worrying about losing license. I sued them back and took them to out side court and then Appellate court. My license is still active but not sure how long. I am not sure if I should continue fighting and keep spending crazy money or just give up and do something else. I would really appreciate some advice.

I am dealing with medical board for last 4 years. First they asked me to take Probation when I agreed then they denied and went for suspension of my license. I am under lot of stress due to financial pressure and worrying about losing license. I sued them back and took them to out side court and then Appellate court. My license is still active but not sure how long. I am not sure if I should continue fighting and keep spending crazy money or just give up and do something else. I would really appreciate some advice.

Have you tried applying to another state for licensure?
If they suspend your license then you could resume work after a suspension as I have done but it’s not easy.
Depends on your specialty and which state you’re dealing with. But if you need the income, which it sounds like you do, then it’s worth it to keep fighting them. But during this fight, this is the time to have a contingency plan.

My nightmare started 2 years ago when my spouse, who was also my office manager decided I was bipolar and had me involuntarily hospitalize. The Dept of Health then begin investigating me. Eventually I closed my practice because we could not pay overhead and I moved out of state. A year after moving Florida took emergency action against my license and my state suspended it. Per my research, it is an ADA violation to revoke/restrict a physician’s license based on a psychiatric condition. But this is what they did
I just through got off a 10 minute conference call with the Probable Cause Panel , who determined there was probable cause because of psychiatric diagnosis. There were no patient complaints or malpractice suits. My attorney had advised me relinquish my license so I would not have to pay for investigation/prosecutors’ costs. PRN told me they could not work with me if I did. So I ‘discharged’ my attorney and ‘represented ‘ myself. I was never given a opportunity to speak and not really acknowledged on the call. The person , who provided the synopsis, got some things wrong and failed to provide some important information, I liken the loss of a medical license to Elizabeth Kubler-Ros’s five stages of dying/ grief :denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I think I am at Stage 5 …sadly. On a positive note, I went back to college and I now majoring in Dance…it is actually quite fun. And it is amazing how quickly your appetite for medicine wanes when you are doing something you really enjoy. But I still have a lot of angst about finances and bankruptcy is -sadly- looking more and more attractive

I am sorry to read about this terrible experience you had. I’m sure it’s tough to deal with the consequences. But incredible that you managed to disidentify with being a doctor and moved on to another career. After all, that’s all medicine is, a career, a way for us to make money. Nobody promised us that we could be doctors forever. Much like health, wealth, and titles, anything can be taken away from us by anyone.

Thank you Dr Mo
Not sure if I have moved on or deidentified myself with being a doctor but I am working on it. I really loved medicine and my patients and I think I was a good doctor…was named in Best Doc or Physician etc from 1997 to last year. I was president of my specialty’s national medical organization , a member of my specialty’s Certification Board of Directors, and practice guideline committee for years. And it was very sad to listen to the Probable Cause Panel’s 9 minute conference call- where it was concluded that it unsafe to let me practice based on a single physician’s IME report that was prepared nearly a year after the one hour office visit. Even though I was represented by an attorney, the Dept of Health prosecutors failed on numerous occasions to communicate with him. and most importantly -they failed to communicate the IME’s recommendation – practice with PRN supervision- until after they placed an emergency restriction. I considered filing a complaint with the Bar Association but my attorney said it was a waste of time. Of note, I had not practiced in that state for a year. There was even a newspaper article about my suspension due to mental illness. On this weeks BPC conference call, they said that I waived my right to privacy – because I contested? They didn’t provide a reason but it made me wonder why there had been a newspaper article about me 6 months ago when I supposedly had not waived this right. I have done some background research and American with Disability law it is illegal to restrict a physician’s license based on a ‘mental illness,’ So I filed a complaint against the Board.
To answer your questions, I did have a license in a second State and they immediately suspended it after Board I’s action. So I guess I will file an ADA complaint against them as well. Not so optimistic that this will accomplish anything. Ironically, my new identity College student pursuing a degree in the arts is more consistent with my original Plan A

As you might be aware, the medical boards are predatory … that’s not my opinion, that is how they operate and we as healthcare consumers as well as physicians have allowed this to continue because it’s only a problem when you as a doctor have to deal with the board. “It never happens” as everyone says and yet my website is packed full with physicians who have had their financial lives and careers destroyed by medical boards. There already are multiple active lawsuits to fight against the bullying of doctors and protecting them against mental health and substance abuse claims. It likely won’t go anywhere since nobody feels sorry for you as a doctor. We have put our heads done, let patients and interest groups shit on us, and we’ve not said a word. We’ve been pacified by job security and a ridiculously high income. What have we done with that income? We’ve bought Tesla’s and mini mansions on hill tops.
So, my advice to doctors reading this is the same, before anything happens, before someone yanks your medical license from you or before you go through a personal crisis or a malpractice suit, 1) cut your spending 2) save & invest your money 3) become financially independent and then you no longer have to fear the medical boards. You can then practice the exact kind of medicine you like or give up medicine altogether.
Ask yourself, would you continue practicing medicine the way you are now if you had $100M in the bank tomorrow? If so, don’t change a thing. If not, something’s wrong.

I wish I had read this earlier…much earlier. And no, I wouldn’t be doing medicine the way I am now if I had $100 million; I’d be doing medical missionary work abroad.

I’m at a loss. I’ve been in the PHP program for approximately 5 years now due to self-reported legal charges due to newly diagnosed mental health illnesses-bipolar and PTSD. I’m at the point of wondering if I should still fight or voluntarily surrender. And it it’s the latter, how will I financially support myself?? I can’t find any jobs that doesn’t require a medical license and still uses my medical knowledge. I’ve looked for drug safety and medical writing jobs. Anyone have any contacts? I’d surrender if I could find a job!!! Bc my state’s medical board is NOT understanding when it comes to mental health, and my experienced board attorney says ADA does not hold over the board. The board is above the ADA! Any suggestions are much appreciated.

I am sorry to hear about what you’re dealing with and these are emails I geet weakly and used to get every few days on text when my phone number was published on this site in the past. There are lots of jobs out there for those with medical experience but it’s important to point out that physicians who stumble on my site find themselves in 2 categories: one group is still trying to convince themselves whether non-physician jobs are out there and if it’s even possible to find them, and the other group is convinced of the this fact and is looking for creative ways to set themselves up for doing something they would enjoy. I wish anyone the best of luck regardless of where they are in their journey. I’ve written over a million words and recorded hours of videos and hours of audio recordings along these topic for no reason other than supporting my fellow physician should they ever find themselves in a position I was back in 2016.

Hey Mo!

Great to read your blog. I love your honesty and transparency while communicating the process of dealing with loss of license and the process of figuring out the next steps. It is normal to be heavily identified with being an MD and many people do not see options beyond their medical career. loss of license can also be an opportunity to see one’s wider purpose in life and how one can contribute to life and other’s well being no matter one’s station in life.

I was a pre-med but quickly took a detour finding my own intellectual curiosity was much wider than the interests of most other pre-meds so I studied Anthropology, Psychology and Art History. Eventually, I got my Ph.D in Psychology where I had a 20+ year career in private practice and teaching. However, that broad education has led to a series of satisfying careers: Psychologist/professor/lecturer.; decorative arts historian/gallery owner/writer and finally as an artist and film maker.

It is very tempting to get lost in one’s career, lost in financial success and not see the bigger picture of life. When I left Boston and declared I was going to start a new career many thought I was crazy to give up the success I’d achieved. Others privately applauded me for achieving the courage to go forward in life. It was not easy starting over in Manhattan learning a new career and learning how to operate a business. There was a lot of fear and hesitation. Eventually, the gallery became a big success mostly because I invested in my education to fully understand Decorative Arts History and eventually teach it. Learning to how to successfully operate a business was not something native to me so I was fortunate to acquire several mentors that taught me the process. Eventually, I felt my passions changing I wanted to become an artist, not just someone who represented artists! I wanted to make my own work that united social, political and environmental passions and now I’m starting to do film while having mentors teaching me the process.

What is the take-away from my story? Life is always much bigger than what any of us can imagine. When I started as a pre-med I wanted to contribute to people while having the status of being an MD. I never imagined I would never get my MD degree but it wasn’t meant to be. Although it took a long time to become a Psychologist (and with my subsequent and current careers), it was a powerful way to contribute to others

From having come through the recent pandemic, one thing I’ve learned is that everyone is important. The guy who delivers food is just as important as any MD. We all need each other. Also, it’s important to re-open oneself to one’s passions, one’s desire to learn and the necessity of relying on others as teachers and mentors. We cannot do it alone. We all help each other.

Mo, it’s really cool that you are open to others, revealing your lifestyle in your blog and Youtube channel etc. We all need to encourage each other to keep going forward whether we are an MD or not.

And thank you for sharing yours – what a great journey. You’re right, everyone is important in this. Works like “front-line” don’t do everyone justice. In the end, work is work. You should enjoy doing it or feel a meaningful purpose.

Dr Mo, I am relieved to at least find your blog. My story is long. I hope you will have some advice for me. My license in Texas was revoked and CA revoked it reciprocally. I am despondent to know what is even possible. The revocation was for noncompliance with an alcohol rehab Agreed Order that I did not agree to and I had already completed negative testing according to the first Agreed Order. Please advise. I would be grateful to speak to you.

It would definitely be important to discuss this with you in person. There isn’t any generic advice that I can offer that would be of any value to you. Probably the best way to contact me would be to reach out to me on my WhatsApp and you can do that by going to the main page on and on the bottom right click on my WhatsApp link and we can hopefully connect.

My name is Mike Porter. I refuse to be a secrete version of myself. I was a psychiatrist in Ontario Canada. My first go round with the CPSO involved allegations of sexual abuse by three different patients. I was suspended for the three years it took to get to a hearing. In Ontario there is a 25k fine for each occurrence of disclosing information about a patient. So let me say blah, blah, blah about each of the three poor souls and point out that I was found not guilty. I was not compensated but did pick up two free illnesses of depression and PTSD. Thank you. Twenty years later they were after me again. I was too I’ll because of the process and the consequences of an MI acquired at the end of the first year of a four year investigation, to prepare myself or my lawyer. Guilty of the one allegation. Six years later at the age of 74 and living on two government pensions and the money my 67 year old wife earns at a minimum wage job, I am trying, unsuccessfully to find a job. Being a superb psychiatrist and caring deeply about my patients has me saddened by my mistakes (no I’m not depressed) and yes I’m in therapy. Had I known the actual power of my moral superiors, I may have chosen to become one of them. Physicians don’t need to be judged by non physicians in the language of lawyers. Get rid of the hierarchical power inherent in the training of all doctors and do what the fortune five hundred companies try. Find the weak links and support them to become successful team members. Of course that would require physicians to find their voice and speak truth to money and status.

Hej Dr Mo,
Thank you so much for your input here. Very touching and supportive. Do Sorry that California MB treated you in such way.
I am just wondering, it was 2018. Have you gott your medical license back efter these 5 years. I hope you did. 🌺🌹

Thank you for the kind words. My medical license was suspended which means that it had reinstatement date which was less than 30 days. So I got it back fairly quickly. I thought CA wasn’t too bad, really OR gets the credit for blowing things out of proportion which means other states will follow. WA was wonderful to deal with.

Hi Dr. Mo,

Is it possible to get a medical license back that has been permanently revoked? I am an osteopath in WV

Love what you do!

Hi Dr. Mo,

I sent a question for you the other day but I didn’t hear back from you.

The case causing my revocation was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Dr. Naum

Dr MO,
First and foremost thank you for this blog. Has helped me to cope with my own experience.
I had my licence revoked 2 years ago in Ontario. Nothing specific just a collection of minor complaints over the years. Nopatient harm, no incompetence , no sleeping with patients, no over-prescribing narcotics. My lawyer informed me that there was a Doctor in the CPSO that had a bias towards me. She stated there was nothing I could do about it . My license was to be revoked. She refused to state this under oath.
During the discipline hearing one of the four doctors on the board fell asleep during my defence Not just nodding off, but a full sprawl, face down, arms stretched out, snoring loudly.
In the case documents supplied, to my lawyer pretrial, a mistake by the CPSO,
Revealed my case was pre- judged. ( They all are)
I appealed the decision to the Ontario court based on this. (My lawyer stated the sleeping beauty was not grounds for an appeal)
I of course lost in a 2-1 decision during which time the college lawyer stated that yes, there were much worse incidents with much worse doctors who did not have their licenses revoked, but the college, essentially, had the right to do whatever they wanted. It took three months for the court to make its decision during which time I was able to practice much to the chagrin of the CPSO.
The period of appeal gave me time to find places for the 14,000 patients that were treated by me for over 30 years than worth the $60,000 I had to pay for this appeal.
I’m 65 now. It has been two years since then. Like almost everyone almost here, I found that finding work that is remotely medically related impossible. I actually had four offers of work in the disability claims management field that were promptly withdrawn upon reading my CPSO record. I have simply stopped trying at this point.
The frequent nightmares I experience, the depression, the trauma are all part of the package. I try to cope with Yoga and meditation.
Thank you for this space. This is the first time I have been able to vet.
In the end, if the doctors practising in their respective states or provinces do not do something to change the way the respective colleges and licensing boards are run, only the lucky ones will avoid something similar.
Dr Paul

Thank you for sharing your personal journey – it is a lonely and overwhelming feeling to have your career taken away from you without recourse. Criminalizing physicians seems to be profitable business but it makes little sense to me. But I also understand what a difficult task it must be to police human beings who have medical licenses. Perhaps I would have chosen a different profession if I knew that my medical license could be taken away from me this easily or the ability to practice medicine would be ripped away from me with something negative on my professional record.
Fortunately, nobody can take away the clinical knowledge I have or the insight into healthcare. I got lucky because I started carving a path out of mainstream medicine before the Oregon medical board suspected my license for 30 days and before California said that I deceived the public by claiming I was a family medicine physician. I don’t think this is something every physician should do – that would be ridiculous. But if there is any part of you that might have resentment if your license suddenly got taken away it’s worth having some alternative avenues.
I still think these state medical boards are doing their best but that matters little to me who has to pay for food and a roof over my head.

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