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Professional Misconduct

Summary - New York State Education Law 131-A

The New York State Board of Professional Misconduct consists of:

  • 18 physicians licensed in New York State for at least five years
         a. Two DO’s
         b. Two physicians who dedicate a significant portion of their practice to the use of non-conventional medical treatments
         c. Two physicians with expertise in palliative care
  • Seven lay members

The Board oversees physicians, residents, and physician's assistants.

What constitutes professional misconduct?
Some examples are:

  • Obtaining a license fraudulently
  • Practicing with negligence
  • Practicing with incompetence
  • Being a habitual user of alcohol or drugs
  • Being convicted of a crime
  • Refusing to care for a patient because of race, creed, color or national origin
  • Exercising undue influence on the patient, including the promotion of the sale of services, goods, appliances, or drugs in such manner as to exploit the patient for the financial gain of the licensee or of a third party
  • Giving or receiving a fee for referral of a patient
  • Revealing a patient’s personal information
  • Advertising that is not in the public interest
  • Abandoning or neglecting a patient
  • Failing to maintain patient records for six years
  • Ordering of excessive tests, treatment, or use of treatment facilities not warranted by the condition of the patient
  • Failing to wear an identifying badge, which shall be conspicuously displayed and legible, indicating the practitioner's name and professional title authorized pursuant to this chapter, while practicing as an employee or operator of a hospital

When a complaint is received by the Board, they will initiate an investigation and, if necessary, conduct a hearing.

Based on the results of the investigation and the hearing, the Board can require a physician to:

  • Submit to a medical or psychiatric examination
  • Submit to a clinical competency exam

The Board can impose the following penalties:

  • Censure and reprimand
  • License can be suspended, revoked or annulled
  • License can be limited to a specific area of practice
  • The Board notifies every hospital where the physician has privileges and has his practice monitored by another physician for up to one year
  • A fine up to $10,000
  • Require CME
  • Require public service

For additional information on New York State professional misconduct laws, go to: