Can you be a doctor with a criminal record

During a recent five-year period, of the calls made to our medical advice line by foundation year doctors, only 21 were designated as being related to criminal matters. However, this figure is likely to underestimate the contacts that stemmed from criminal offences, given that a proportion of calls that we categorised as being GMC queries were from members seeking advice on reporting criminal matters to the GMC. These foundation doctors tended to contact us because of a recent criminal matter and the ensuing police investigation.

The incidents were usually not related to the doctors' clinical work, but rather to incidents such as motoring offences like speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol.


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When the criminal investigation did arise from their clinical practice, it tended to be in relation to an alleged sexual assault of a patient, rather than a clinical incident raising the possibility of gross negligence manslaughter or wilful neglect. Understandably, the prospect of a criminal record is traumatic for the doctor involved, regardless of the nature of an alleged criminal offence.

Many junior doctors are also surprised to find that their behaviour outside of the workplace can have an impact on their career. Below we look at some of the types of criminal charges doctors can face and the circumstances in which they arise. While you are not on duty all the time, it's important to be aware that the GMC expects your conduct to be of a certain standard even when you are not at work. Good medical practice states that:. You must make sure that your conduct justifies your patients' trust in you and the public's trust in the profession.

As such, doctors have an ethical duty to inform the GMC without delay if, anywhere in the world, they accept a caution, or are charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence.

Although the police may indicate that accepting a caution will end the criminal investigation, due to the GMC reporting requirements mentioned above, it's not always straightforward for doctors to accept a caution. Accepting a caution is essentially an admission of guilt - so although it may close the criminal investigation, it can trigger a GMC investigation.

The GMC has more detailed guidance on what criminal or regulatory proceedings doctors need to tell them about, which also includes exceptions that do not need to be reported - such as payment for a fixed penalty notice for a road traffic offence.

Common cases Larry handles with health care providers and professionals:

Be aware that some offences, usually those related to alcohol or drug use such as drink driving may lead the GMC to investigate a doctor's health as well as their conduct. For criminal investigations arising from issues not related to patient care, doctors would usually need to instruct a private solicitor to represent them through the criminal legal process.

However, we would advise you to inform us so that we may advise on your obligations to report the matter to the GMC. You may also be under a contractual obligation to inform your employer of any cautions, charges or convictions. This type of allegation is thankfully rare, but can have a devastating impact on doctors, their families, their reputation and wellbeing, even if it is eventually proved to be unfounded. So, how can you reduce the risk of being the subject of this kind of allegation?

If you do become aware of this type of allegation made against you, please contact us promptly so that we can advise you.

Criminal issues not related to clinical practice and when to report them to the GMC

When patients die it can be very distressing for the clinicians involved, but this is magnified hugely when it is suggested that the doctor has caused the death and that their actions could be considered to reach the threshold for criminal prosecution. Thankfully such prosecutions are not common. The following points outline ways in which doctors can treat their patients safely and reduce the risk of facing a criminal investigation.

If you do become aware of a potential criminal investigation relating to your clinical care of a patient:. The MDU is the only medical defence organisation which has a specialist in-house team of three solicitors with extensive experience of criminal law. As well as an enviable success rate, they offer much-needed support to members when their freedom, career and even mental health may be in jeopardy. It should also be reassuring to know that the MDU's criminal solicitors have an excellent track record in achieving a successful outcome for members.

The vast majority of police investigations against MDU members do not result in a prosecution, and only about one in four prosecutions for our in-house team has resulted in a conviction.

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It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers. Recent cases have raised concerns among foundation doctors that their work might lead them to be involved in a criminal investigation. In fact, such cases are rare.


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Your round-up of the latest medico-legal news, with a focus on patient safety, clinical negligence, new legislation and guidance impacting your practice. A patient in his late 30s presented to an MDU GP member complaining of a cough that had lasted for two weeks. Read more about our cookie policy Accept cookies. Home Guidance and advice Foundation year doctors and criminal matters.

Disqualifying Criminal Convictions

Foundation year doctors and criminal matters Recent cases have raised concerns among foundation doctors that their work might lead them to be involved in a criminal investigation. Criminal issues not related to clinical practice and when to report them to the GMC While you are not on duty all the time, it's important to be aware that the GMC expects your conduct to be of a certain standard even when you are not at work.

EMS Programs Office reviewing criminal records of EMTs

However, my arrest record remains and third-party websites have gotten access to my arrest information. A simple google search of my name now reveals this information. I am currently in college and plan to apply to medical school afterwards and become a surgeon, would this be possible with my current situation? While the decision ultimately comes down to the licensing officials of a state regulatory board, it would be very unusual for a state regulatory board to prevent you from obtaining a license based upon arrests that did not result in a conviction.

It might even be unconstitutional for them to do so, because it would effectively be a governmental punishment for a crime for which you are presumed innocent. The fact that the arrests would be roughly eight years old at the time you would be applying for a license would likely diminish their relevance. You might be asked to explain any arrest in your licensing application, but an explanation that made clear that the arrests did not result in a conviction ought to be adequate. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Can I become a surgeon with an arrest record of 3 felonies?

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Felony Restrictions in Medical Careers

Viewed times. George George 36 1 1 bronze badge. Consult a lawyer to get your arrest record sealed most likely this is possible.


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Even if that's not possible most laws prohibit employers from refusing to hire just due to arrest records, it is actually illegal to ask a potential employee if you have ever been arrested, the question they may ask is if you've ever plead guilty or been convicted of a crime they can also ask if there are current criminal cases against you. The question you are asking is highly a case by case question with which you need actual legal advice, which this is not. Viktor Finding employment is not the only thing in which an arrest record might represent an obstacle.