New York and many other states have a regulation which requires the licensed medical professional to report another licensed medical professional if it reasonably appears to show that a licensee is guilty of professional misconduct as defined in the particular state regulation or statute. Think about that! You see a colleague in the hospital, leaving a bathroom with a needle and empty barrel. Are you obligated to report her? Not so fast! Perhaps she is a diabetic and the injection was nothing more than insulin. Perhaps, before putting a colleague through the professional ringer, simply ask. Remember, if you have a “reasonable” suspicion, reporting the professional to a superior is not adequate. The report is supposed to be to the Department of Health in most states. You have to check your own state statute. Additionally, you are not required to spy on your colleague or break any rules yourself to look at their charts. Be collegial and your colleague will hopefully return the favor. Until next week, stay safe!
Larry Kobak, Esq.