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Despite exoneration, Texas Medical Board won't clear doctor's name

An Austin doctor's ordeal has already lasted nearly three years and the end is not yet in sight. Dr. Robert Van Boven might be forgiven for prematurely celebrating the end back in December of last year. That was when he received the news that the Texas Medical Board had finally accepted a ruling from the State Office of Administrative Hearings that exonerated him of allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a pair of patients and unprofessional conduct with another.

The Medical Board accepted the ruling, but not before board members stated for the record that they disagreed with the decision. That wasn't the worst of it, however. The Texas Medical Board then declined to retract its filing with the National Practitioner Data Bank - containing the claims of misconduct and the charge that the doctor posed an "immediate threat to health or safety."

The Board's failure to retract the filing is significant, the doctor says, because any potential employers will find the discredited claims against him when they run a background check. Those claims will continue to punish him, he says. His practice has been effectively ruined by the three years of "temporary restrictions" that will essentially follow him as he tries to rebuild his life and resume his profession.

The Austin Chronicle reports that he has submitted the matter for dispute resolution to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, asking that the original filing be removed entirely from the database.

We do not yet know the outcome of that request, but we do know that so much of what a doctor works so hard to attain can be destroyed with untrue allegations and false accusations.

Physicians can protect their careers and reputations with the help of skilled health care law attorneys experienced in effective, comprehensive representation before the Texas Medical Board.

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