What Steps Should You Take if Your Osteopath License is in Jeopardy?


An Osteopath is also known as a D.O. or an osteopathic doctor. In California, Osteopaths are licensed and monitored by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California. This Board operates independently from the Medical Board of California but follows many similar rules and requirements. One major difference between the two medical boards is that the Osteopathic Medical Board still operates a diversion program that can aid Osteopaths in their rehabilitation from abuse of drugs and alcohol. The California Medical Board got rid of their rehabilitation program in 2008 and replaced it with a physician’s health and wellness program that does not generally encourage early detection or treatment of physicians facing substance abuse issues. A California Osteopath can face license sanction for several acts of misconduct, including:

  • Sexual misconduct with a patient
  • Illicit drug use
  • Alcohol abuse, including DUI 
  • Patient abandonment
  • Improper billing

If an osteopath is accused of one of the above acts or another act of misconduct, then he or she can face license suspension, probation, reprimand, or even revocation. If you are facing an accusation of misconduct as an osteopath, then it is important that you speak to an experienced physician license defense attorney right away.


The first and most important thing that an osteopath must understand regarding misconduct accusations is that time is limited. If an osteopath faces an accusation of misconduct, he or she will receive a “Notice of Accusation” letter, which will detail what the alleged misconduct is and start the clock on the case. Osteopaths have 15 days from the date they are served with a Notice of Accusation to respond with a “Notice of Defense.” This notice informs the Board that the osteopath will be defending themselves and sets the table for future proceedings. If the osteopath does not reply with a timely Notice of Defense or other appropriate response, then he or she can face a default judgment. This result can immediately strip an osteopath of their license to practice medicine. 

If you have received a Notice of Accusation, then make sure you act quickly to assess what your potential defenses are and how to potentially resolve your case with the least amount of sanction as possible. The most effective way to do this is to hire an experienced attorney who can explain the process to you so you can best understand how to defense your osteopath license. If you have legal questions, then call us at the S.J. Harris Law Office today!


The S.J. Harris Law Office is proud to offer FREE 30-minute consultations to all prospective clients. We understand that licensed professionals such as osteopaths prefer representation that values discretion and privacy. All conversations with our office will be protected by the attorney-client privilege even if you don’t hire us to represent you. At S.J. Harris Law, we put our focus into preserving three things; your license, your reputation, and your future. Let our experience go to work for you today. Call us at (310) 361-8585 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Attorney Advertisement

This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.

Author : Scott J Harris