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Cook County Medical License Defense Attorneys

Being a physician comes with great responsibility. While doctors go through rigorous education and training programs to get to the point where they can practice independently, no amount of training can prevent all complications and mistakes. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is responsible for the regulation of licensed doctors in the State of Illinois. The IDFPR provides a resource for patients and other physicians and professionals to look up information about Board Certification status, hospital privileges, malpractice insurance status and claims, discipline, and professional affiliations. Understanding the role of the IDFPR in medical negligence and criminal claims can help medical professionals protect themselves and advocate for their clients without the constant fear of liability.

Disciplinary Action Against Illinois Physicians

Doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other highly specialized professionals often worry about being sued. This is not because they believe they have done something wrong, or even that they will ever do something that would warrant a lawsuit—it is because the types of insurance these professionals must carry is so cost-prohibitive, it can prevent them from being able to participate in their profession at all. Doctors, especially, bear the burden of having to carry multiple types of expensive insurance, which most doctors will never even make a claim on (most doctors are covered by their hospitals or institutions for which they work). Personal liability is a fear to the extent that a successful medical malpractice claim against a doctor may have two or more components:

  • A civil negligence claim;
  • A criminal assault or battery claim (in the instance of lack of informed consent); and/or
  • An IDFPR claim.

Each of these claims would be dealt with and litigated separately, but the others may survive even if one is dismissed. That is, if a medical professional is sued under a theory of civil negligence, but the suing individual also brings an IDFPR claim, the IDFPR claim may continue even if the civil claim is dismissed by a court. The courts do not oversee IDFPR claims; the IDFPR is an independent department that oversees medical professionals and is not affiliated with the courts or legal matters through the courts. Thus, prudent medical professionals will carry insurance that covers them not just for criminal and civil lawsuits, but also for allegations against them in the IDFPR context. Check with your local jurisdiction to make sure you carry at least the minimum amount of liability insurance required for your area of practice.

Civil Claims

A civil negligence, or medical malpractice, claim is probably the most likely lawsuit a physician may be faced with. A civil action means that there has been a wrong against a person that another person is responsible for. In the medical negligence context, a patient would claim that the doctor is responsible for an injury that resulted from the doctor’s care of the patient. The patient can file a lawsuit seeking damages (money) for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and can also try to get a doctor’s license suspended or revoked. Often, these cases settle through insurance without ever going to trial—yet another reason why carrying the proper amount of insurance as a doctor is critical.

Physician Discipline

Under current Illinois law**, there are many things that can be a cause for discipline of a physician, including, but not limited to:

  • Negligent treatment;
  • Misdiagnosis;
  • Misrepresentation of education, training, or experience;
  • Medical insurance fraud;
  • Relationships with patients;
  • Failing to follow prescription protocols;
  • Misallocating funds; and
  • Disclosing confidential patient information.

Any of these things may be considered actionable under civil law, criminal law or under the provisions of the IDFPR, depending on the circumstances.

Illinois Medical License Defense Attorney

Glasgow & Olsson is a full-service law firm in the greater Chicago area that emphasizes criminal litigation. In addition to his expansive criminal defense background, Schaumburg criminal defense lawyer Thomas T. Glasgow has extensive experience handling legal matters pertaining to medical licenses in the state of Illinois. Glasgow served as the Chief of the Medical Division of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation from 1998-1999. While working for the department he also taught numerous continuing education seminars for professionals across the state. With this highly concentrated knowledge, Glasgow and his team of professionals can help defend even the most complex medical liability claims, regardless of whether they involve civil law, criminal law, or claims made through the IDFPR. If you are a medical professional in the greater Chicago area who has concerns about your level of malpractice coverage or if you are actively going through a lawsuit, we can help. Contact us at 847.577.8700 today.

**The provisions of the Medical Practice Act of 1987 are scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2015. This may change the applicability of certain aspects of this article past that date.