When a physician receives a notice from the California Medical Board requesting an interview, it usually means there has been a complaint or report of a possible violation of the Business and Professions Code, and may lead to an Accusation being filed for formal disciplinary action. The physician should know that the interview will be conducted by a Senior Investigator for the Medical Board and is usually attended by a "Medical Consultant", i.e., a physician on the payroll of the Board to review potential disciplinary cases.
Medical Board investigators have been known to tell the physician it is a routine matter and does not require representation by an attorney, although the physician does have a right to have counsel present. These interviews are generally tape recorded, and whatever the physician says can end up in a formal report and become evidence for a hearing on an Accusation.
Therefore, it is usually best for the physician to be represented by counsel. The physician is well advised to seek counsel as soon as the interview is requested, so that the attorney has time to prepare the physician for the sorts of questions he or she is likely to be asked. An attorney can also help the physician avoid answering improper questions or questions beyond the scope of the proposed interview. Early contact with counsel is therefore suggested when the Medical Board investigator comes knocking.
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