How to “pass” (or fail) your licensing Board interview

Whether your are a physician, pharmacist, or nurse defending against an investigation by the Oregon Medical Board, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, or the Oregon State Board of Nursing, what I am about to share with you share with you holds true. At a minimum, you should expect your licensing Board to request (a) your written statement answering the complaint against you, and (b) your appearance at the Board’s office to sit for a recorded interview. To help my client’s obtain a good interview, I keep the following points in mind while helping them prepare their written statements, and while preparing them for interview.

Know your case and accept responsibility where necessary

Although many Board complaints are full defensible, many others are not, and it is important to know which type of case you have. While it is professionally rewarding to defend a licensee 100 percent, when a mistake was made, it is often preferable, if not necessary, to acknowledge the mistake, accept responsibility, provide mitigating context, and take corrective action to prevent a recurrence of the mistake. Your licensing Board will respect either approach, so long as we have correctly identified which type of case you have. An experienced healthcare defense attorney will help you accurately evaluate your case and develop a plan to defend your medical license.

Be well prepared for your licensing Board interview

If you do not know what the issues are, or what the likely questions will be, you are not prepared for your interview. It is that simple. Please know that an interview with your licensing Board is no place to show up and see what happens. If this is your approach, you will fail. In sharp contrast, an experienced healthcare defense attorney will identify the controlling legal issues and the questions you can expect to be asked during your recorded interview. Please also know that your investigator will be well prepared to interview you and, by the time of your interview, your investigator will have drawn tentative conclusions about your case. Some of the questions you will be asked will be well thought out in advance and, in those cases where your written statement was misleading, some of the questions will be pointed, and you will likely face a series of questions intended to expose your lack of candor. Do not let this happen to you. An experienced healthcare defense attorney will help you avoid this trap.

Do not attempt to mislead your licensing Board

You are taking a huge risk if you attempt to mislead your licensing Board, either in your written statement, or while answering questions during your recorded interview. Your licensing Board has resources, and it will conduct a background check. One or more investigators will investigate your background, and the investigators are very skilled at what they do. If, for example, you had a bad experience in another state, especially one involving a similar issue giving rise to your current licensing Board investigation, you should expect the out-of-state incident to be discovered and fully investigated by your licensing Board. Please know that any effort to mislead your licensing Board about the prior out-of-state incident will almost certainly be exposed and, when this happens, you will have lost your credibility with your licensing Board. Do not let this happen to you. The better approach is to know when to acknowledge the mistake, accept responsibility, provide mitigating context, and take corrective action to prevent a recurrence of the mistake. This is delicate work, requiring the assistance of an experienced health care defense attorney, to ensure you are adequately defended.

Conclusion

In sum, to ensure a good interview, you need to accurately evaluate your case, you need to be well prepared, and you need to be candid when answering questions, all the while defending yourself and protecting your license. This is difficult work, and it requires the assistance of an experienced healthcare defense attorney to do it well.