(a) A physician and surgeon’s certificate shall be suspended automatically during any time that the holder of the certificate is incarcerated after conviction of a felony, regardless of whether the conviction has been appealed. The Division of Medical Quality shall, immediately upon receipt of the certified copy of the record of conviction, determine whether the certificate of the physician and surgeon has been automatically suspended by virtue of his or her incarceration, and if so, the duration of that suspension. The division shall notify the physician and surgeon of the license suspension and of his or her right to elect to have the issue of penalty heard as provided in this section.
(b) Upon receipt of the certified copy of the record of conviction, if after a hearing it is determined therefrom that the felony of which the licensee was convicted was substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a physician and surgeon, the Division of Medical Quality shall suspend the license until the time for appeal has elapsed, if no appeal has been taken, or until the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or has otherwise become final, and until further order of the division. The issue of substantial relationship shall be heard by an administrative law judge from the Medical Quality Hearing Panel sitting alone or with a panel of the division, in the discretion of the division.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a conviction of any crime referred to in Section 2237, or a conviction of Section 187, 261, 262, or 288 of the Penal Code, shall be conclusively presumed to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a physician and surgeon and no hearing shall be held on this issue. Upon its own motion or for good cause shown, the division may decline to impose or may set aside the suspension when it appears to be in the interest of justice to do so, with due regard to maintaining the integrity of and confidence in the medical profession.
(d) (1) Discipline may be ordered in accordance with Section 2227, or the Division of Licensing may order the denial of the license when the time for appeal has elapsed, the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, complaint, information, or indictment.
(2) The issue of penalty shall be heard by an administrative law judge from the Medical Quality Hearing Panel sitting alone or with a panel of the division, in the discretion of the division. The hearing shall not be had until the judgment of conviction has become final or, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code, an order granting probation has been made suspending the imposition of sentence; except that a licensee may, at his or her option, elect to have the issue of penalty decided before those time periods have elapsed. Where the licensee so elects, the issue of penalty shall be heard in the manner described in this section at the hearing to determine whether the conviction was substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a physician and surgeon. If the conviction of a licensee who has made this election is overturned on appeal, any discipline ordered pursuant to this section shall automatically cease. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit the division from pursuing disciplinary action based on any cause other than the overturned conviction.
(e) The record of the proceedings resulting in the conviction, including a transcript of the testimony therein, may be received in evidence.
(f) The other provisions of this article setting forth a procedure for the suspension or revocation of a physician and surgeon’s certificate shall not apply to proceedings conducted pursuant to this section.
(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1075, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018