If you wish to practice medicine in the United States, you will need to possess a valid medical license. Your license demonstrates that the state that bestowed it upon you believes you possess the skills, education, reputability, and temperament required to be a doctor.

However, medical licenses are not issued unconditionally. If you give the licensing authority any reason to think that you are using your license in an unethical, unrespectable, or inappropriate way, they will not hesitate to revoke it.

Some of the most common reasons why a governing body might seek to revoke your medical license include:

Substance Abuse

Licensing authorities expect physicians to be sober and clear-of-thought when practicing medicine. As such, if they learn that you are abusing drugs or alcohol, they are likely to seek the revocation of your license. It is worth noting, however, that many licensing boards will be able to help you find treatment if you are open and honest with them about your addiction issues.

Insurance Fraud

As a doctor, you are expected to remain ethical and honest at all times. This is particularly the case when dealing with insurance companies. If you knowingly use incorrect insurance codes, change medical records, or charge uninsured patients different rates than insured patients, you are likely to run into significant issues with the licensing board. As a general rule, if you wish to keep your medical license, you should avoid committing insurance fraud.

Prescription Drug Violations

Your medical license grants you the power to prescribe potentially life-saving medication to your patients. However, your prescription pad is also a huge responsibility. If the medical licensing board finds that you are prescribing unneeded medication, operating a pill mill, or otherwise abusing your powers, they will not be shy about launching an investigation into your conduct. When the dust has settled on the inquiry, you may no longer possess your license to practice medicine.

Patient Abuse

Your role as a physician affords you a great deal of trust from patients and their families. However, if you are found to be taking advantage of that trust and abusing your patients, you will almost certainly find yourself in front of a licensing board investigative panel. Committing acts of verbal abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse are some of the quickest ways to lose a medical license.

Unethical Behavior

As a doctor, you are expected to treat each of your patients equally. If you are found to be discriminating against some of your patients due to factors such as their race, gender, or religion, you are likely to find yourself in significant trouble with the licensing board. Unethical and discriminatory behavior such as this simply isn’t tolerated from licensed medical professionals.