Welcome to the second of our business and healthcare law firm’s holiday-themed blog posts. As I am sure we all noticed during 2020, many people took the opportunities presented this year to relocate. Study: Pandemic Spurred a Wave of Relocations, Washington Post (July 3, 2020). I heard from many who always wanted to move, generally to be closer to family, and finally decided to take the plunge once the shutdown began.
When physicians and other medical professionals choose to move to a new state, there is a process that must be completed. As attorneys who assist physicians and other medical professionals with licensing, we assisted many physicians this year who desired to move to Georgia and acquire the proper license to work here. Given that we will likely continue to see this behavioral trend, we wish to, herein, acquaint non-Georgians and Georgians alike with Georgia’s medical professional licensing board by providing the following 12 facts:
- The licensing Board in Georgia is known as the Georgia Composite Medical Board (“GCMB”).
- The GCMB’s authority is found within Title 43, Chapter 34, Article 1 of the Georgia Code.
- The purpose of the GCMB is to operate as “the licensing agency for physicians, physician assistants, respiratory care professionals, perfusionists, acupuncturists, orthotists, prosthetists, auricular (ear) detoxification specialists, residency training permits, cosmetic laser practitioners, pain management clinics, and medical geneticists.”
- The GCMB promulgates rules and regulations governing the practice of medicine in Georgia.
- The GCMB also investigates complaints and is responsible for disciplining medical professionals who violate the Medical Practice Act or other professional rules and regulations.
- The Board consists of 15 members, 13 of whom are actively practicing physicians (11 M.D.s and 2 D.O.s). C.G.A. § 43-34-1(a)-(b). The final two members “shall have no connection whatsoever with the practice of medicine.” Id. § 43-34-1(c).
- You may not begin employment as a medical professional until you receive your Georgia medical license or certificate. The GCMB highly recommends you not accept an offer of employment in Georgia until you have met all the necessary requirements for licensure or certification and have been notified in writing of your approval for a medical license or certificate.
- The application process for new medical professionals takes an average of four to six weeks.
- The GCMB may deny, revoke, suspend, fine, reprimand, or otherwise limit the license of a physician or physician assistant for the reasons defined in O.C.G.A. 43-34-8. Rule 360-3-.01.
- Generally, if the GCMB intends to deny a licensure application, the GCMB will inform the applicant and allow a short window for the applicant to withdraw his or her application. You and your counsel may wish to take this option to prevent a licensing denial on your record.
- Adverse licensing decisions may be challenged through the GCMB’s administrative appeals process, which allows an opportunity for pleadings, motions, evidence, and hearings, as needed.
- The GCMB may take disciplinary action against licensees for unprofessional conduct, as detailed within Rule 360-3-.02. The conduct detailed includes certain unprofessional prescribing practices, misconduct towards or involving patients, failure to properly maintain records, and practicing medicine in an impaired state.
We hope the “12 Days of the GCMB” provides you with a general overview of the GCMB’s authority and role regarding medical professional licensure in Georgia. As a healthcare law firm, we have represented numerous physicians during the application and appeals process. If you have questions regarding this blog post or a licensure issue or dispute, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
*Disclaimer: Thoughts shared here do not constitute legal advice.