California Medical Board (MBC) License Defense

Portrait of young African-American medical doctor in California speaking during medical licensing conference - MBC graphic

How a Medical Board License Defense Attorney Can Help

An investigation by the Medical Board of California can be a career-ending event for a medical professional. If your medical license is under investigation, you need to protect your future by contacting a California medical license defense lawyer right away. 

S J Harris Law is a license defense firm with extensive experience fighting back when the MBC calls the actions of healthcare professionals into question. We understand the stress of an MBC investigation and are prepared to provide compassionate support and aggressive defense. 

Contact S J Harris Law today to learn more about how a California license defense lawyer can help protect your career.

An Experienced Lawyer with Knowledge of Medical Board Laws and Regulations

When you’re at risk of losing your medical license, you need an experienced license defense attorney on your side. However, licensure attorneys usually practice across a broad area of credential defense cases. A healthcare professional needs an attorney who specializes in medical license defense in California. 

Obtaining a successful investigation outcome requires in-depth knowledge of the following:

  • The laws and regulations that govern medical board licensing in California
  • The investigation process followed by the MBC 

The Medical Board of California (MBC) is the entity responsible for issuing medical board licensing for physicians, surgeons, and certain other medical professionals in California. The MBC also investigates allegations of misconduct, which can lead to criminal charges and the suspension or revocation of medical licenses.

Reasons Your Medical License Might Be Investigated by the Medical Board of California (MBC)

Patient complaints are a common reason for the MBC to launch an investigation against a doctor, but this is not the only one. Anytime a medical professional’s actions might have endangered a patient’s rights or violated the law, the MBC may initiate an investigation. 

There is no limit to the reasons the MBC can investigate a medical professional in California. That said, the reason for most investigations usually falls into one of six categories: 


The MBC will investigate both repeated acts of simple negligence and singular acts of gross negligence. In general, negligence refers to any action that fails to meet the professional standard of care owed to a patient by a doctor. Common examples of medical negligence include the following: 

  • Surgical mistakes
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Incorrect diagnosis
  • Failure to render appropriate care
  • Birth injuries
  • Medication errors

A medical professional is obligated to inform the MBC if they are named in a medical malpractice lawsuit that ends in a settlement, judgment, or arbitration award. 

Criminal Convictions

A conviction for a criminal offense can put you at risk of losing your California medical license. Charges alone won’t put your license at risk. However, upon conviction, the MBC will likely investigate to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted. 

Not all criminal convictions will put your license at risk. The MBC is primarily concerned with convictions that involve:

  • DUI
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Sex crimes
  • Murder
  • Medical malpractice

An investigation will take into consideration the circumstances of the incident that led to your charges. Medical professionals are legally obligated to report any conviction or felony charges. 

Prescription Violations

Prescription medication mistakes are typically investigated by the MBC as acts of negligence. However, the MBC will also initiate an investigation for prescription violations that are illegal or unethical. Acts of prescription violation and fraud are instances in which a physician knowingly writes an unlawful prescription for reasons that have no legitimate purpose given the patient’s health. 

Failure to Supervise

Doctors, physicians, and surgeons have an obligation to adequately supervise their fellow healthcare workers, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses. If a patient is harmed by the actions of a healthcare provider acting under a doctor’s supervision, that doctor can face an investigation on the grounds of failing to offer adequate supervision. 

Sexual Misconduct

The MBC takes claims of sexual misconduct against a healthcare provider very seriously. If a patient or staff member comes forward with allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other instances of sexual misconduct, a doctor runs the risk of criminal charges, civil penalties, and a revoked medical license.

Unprofessional Conduct

Medical professionals’ conduct in the workplace is subject to a great many rules and regulations. The most common violations centered around unprofessional conduct that trigger MBC investigations include the following: 

  • Insurance fraud
  • Record alteration
  • Breach of confidence
  • Failure to provide a patient with copies of their medical records
  • Failure to sign a death certificate
  • False advertising
  • Patient abandonment

For the most part, allegations of professional misconduct are concerned with clear violations on the part of the physician or surgeon in question. Complaints about a doctor’s attitude or demeanor toward a patient don’t typically constitute grounds for an investigation into professional conduct.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Medical Board of California Respond to Claims or Accusations?

The MBC doesn’t pick and choose which complaints to investigate. Once a complaint is filed, you can expect your case to move into the investigation stage, regardless of whether you think the claim holds merit.  

Once someone files their complaint with the MBC, the entity will investigate whether there are grounds for disciplinary action. MBC investigations usually involve interviews with the parties and reviewing relevant documents. At this stage, the MBC decides to either close the complaint or issue a formal accusation. 

Once an accusation is formally issued, it becomes part of the public record. The MBC will hold a hearing to determine what, if any, disciplinary actions will be taken against the doctor. In the event of an unwanted hearing outcome, you can appeal the decision. Under certain circumstances, doctors can also file a petition for penalty relief or license reinstatement.

Why Is It Important to Involve a Licensing Defense Attorney Right Away?

Unlike in a medical malpractice claim, the outcome of an MBC investigation does not hinge on whether a patient was harmed by a doctor’s actions. This means that an investigation puts you at risk of facing serious consequences based on your actions alone — rather than any outcome they resulted in. 

It’s essential to involve a license defense attorney as soon as you become aware that someone has filed with the MBC. An attorney will work to have the case dropped during the investigation process before any accusation becomes a matter of public record. They’ll also represent you during your MBC hearing to minimize the disciplinary actions you face.

What Happens if the Case Is Closed?

An MBC case can be closed after investigation if the medical board finds a lack of evidence substantiating the claim. Typically, this means they find that either no law was broken or that any violation was not severe enough to merit disciplinary action. However, medical professionals should be aware that the complaint is maintained on file by the MBC and can impact the outcome of future investigations should another complaint ever be filed.  

What Happens if Your License Is Suspended or Revoked?

License suspensions by the MBC occur for a set period. When you are able to renew your license, you’ll be obligated to disclose any disciplinary actions or criminal convictions that occurred since your last renewal. It’s not necessary to report convictions for which the fine was under $300 unless drugs or alcohol were involved. 

A physician licensure attorney may be able to help you overturn a revocation or shorten the term of a suspension by petitioning the MBC for penalty relief.   

Who We Help

It’s common for medical professionals to think of medical licensing boards as being on their side. But the reality is that medical boards are designed to protect healthcare patients, not doctors licensed through the board. 

S J Harris Law works with medical professionals actively under investigation by the MBC.

We also help those who are hoping to acquire or regain their licensure or who need support maintaining their professional reputation. 

How We Help 

As a license defense firm, S J Harris Law supports California medical professionals in all areas related to acquiring, maintaining, defending, and reinstating a California medical license. 

When you choose to work with our licensing defense attorneys, you can expect us to:

  • Assist with the MBC license investigation process 
  • Offer representation for hearings and appeals 
  • Work to reduce the investigation’s impact on your future, finances, and reputation

You can contact S J Harris Law’s lawyers today for support with any questions and concerns related to maintaining a medical license and a sound reputation as a trusted medical professional in CA. 

Protect and Safeguard Your License by Consulting a Medical Board License Defense Attorney

MBC investigations are complex processes, and a doctor’s entire career can hinge upon the outcome of one. The best way to protect your professional license and reputation is to contact a medical board defense attorney in California as soon as you become aware that you have become the subject of an MBC investigation.

S J Harris Law attorneys have the experience and track record to help you achieve your professional goals of protecting your reputation and maintaining a successful career as a medical professional in California. Contact S J Harris Law to speak with a California medical board license defense attorney today.

Get a 30-Minute Free Consultation

Fill out the form or call:


sjharris footer logo

When dealing with these complex issues, you need legal representation that has a long track record of success in these types of cases. Scott Harris and the rest of our team at S J Harris Law will be ready to help you pursue any option available that allows you to keep your license and continue working, no matter what industry you are in.


© 2024 by S J Harris Law. All Rights Reserved. | Disclaimer | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Designed by Get Visible

Get a Free 30-Minute Consultation