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Can I get my medical license back after a conviction?

Back in early 1997, a medical student out of New York went through painful dental surgery. He began to take opioids to help manage the pain and became addicted to the meds. He finished medical school and residency, was board certified for physical medicine and rehabilitation. While practicing, the addiction spiraled, and he found himself writing his own prescriptions.

In 2007, officers arrested the doctor and charged him with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

When faced with the allegations, the physician pled guilty. The court sent him to prison. He served his time and was released four years ago. He now teaches at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York and shares his story to help encourage his students to reach out for help before a problem spirals.

The example shows how a physician’s bad choices can lead to serious consequences. Which leads to the main question of this post — now, fully rehabilitated, can he get his license back? It is possible for doctors in this type of situation to have the state medical board reinstate their medical license, but it is not an easy process. In most cases, the physician must wait at least a few years before requesting reinstatement from the board. The board will then expect the physician to complete an application and provide evidence to show that they meet all the board’s requirements.

The board will not guarantee reinstatement even when a medical doctor meets these criteria. It is also important to note that if granted, it may come with restrictions. In a case like this, the board may choose to reinstate the medical license with the restriction that the physician cannot prescribe medications.