The "Ripple Effect" of Medical Licensure Issues

March 24, 2017

By: Cody N. Guarnieri, Esq.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (and not the Board of Medical Examiners, which is a component of the Department) is responsible for evaluating candidates for medical licensure in the state. This includes candidates that are or have been licensed in other states or jurisdictions and are seeking licensure in Connecticut.

A threshold consideration by the Department of Public Health is whether the license applicant has pending or unresolved complaints or disciplinary action against his or her license in any other state or jurisdiction. The Connecticut Department of Public Health will not issue a license to an applicant with any such unresolved disciplinary issues in another state or jurisdiction. In fact, the statutory and regulatory laws/regulations that guide the Department do not allow it to issue licenses in these circumstances.

"The Department [of Public Health] shall not issue a license to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint with the professional licensing authority in another jurisdiction." Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-14(e). "No license shall be issued if there is a complaint awaiting adjudication against the applicant in another state or with the Department of Health Services until such a time as it is resolved in favor of the candidate." Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 19a-14-4.

The effect of these rules is what I refer to as "the ripple effect" of medical licensing issues in Connecticut. Certainly the legislature intended to prevent medical professionals facing the loss of license or other discipline in one state for professional misconduct from coming to Connecticut to get licensed and start a new practice. The Department also interprets these rules to include individuals who have surrendered their license, failed to renew their license or allowed it to become void for reasons unrelated to professional disciplinary issues but while professional disciplinary action was pending against that person.

If you hold a medical license and wish to come to Connecticut to practice your profession, the best way to facilitate that process is to ensure that you work to resolve any outstanding discipline or professional misconduct issues before relocating. As your license application will be held up in Connecticut until that out of state matter is resolved, it likely makes more sense and controls costs to address any such issues while you are still under the auspices of that other state.

Additionally, if you already hold a Connecticut license to practice medicine while you have been practicing outside of this State, you will face the same hurdles to renew and maintain your license in Connecticut if a discipline or professional misconduct is opened against you in another state. Again, the best course of action is to resolve any such matters as soon as possible with that state.