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Monday, Mar. 12th 2018

Medical Residents – Conduct or Competency Issues

Although not common, Medical Residents can face dismissal for either conduct issues or competency issues. Residency programs are contracts between a teaching hospital and a graduate medical doctor who has been accepted to the program for typically a 3 year or 4 year residency. Each year of the residency is typically a separate contract and the contract relationship must be renewed each year until completion. There is an expectation on the part of the resident that he or she will have the contract renewed each year and if the Program Director decides not to renew the contract, written notice of that decision should be sent to the resident. In some cases a Notice of Termination can be issued at any time for misconduct or patient safety concerns.
Medical Residents at a public hospital are considered public employees as well as students in higher education and therefore have Due Process rights with regard to a proposed dismissal or non-renewal of the residency contract. Those rights include notice in writing of the charges against the resident and an opportunity to have a hearing to present the resident’s side of the story. In most cases, there is also a right of appeal to the President of the medical center. In private institutions, constitutional Due Process rights do not apply but typically the Resident Handbook describes a process to contest the non-renewal or dismissal that involves equivalent “due process style” rights.
As with other higher education appeal matters handle by Cohen Law Firm LLC, we always examine whether the client has a record of disability status for conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression or other diagnoses and whether he or she has been granted any disability accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act or The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For an initial no-cost telephone conference, please contact Mr. Cohen at 785.979.7361 or by email: cac@studentrightslawyers.com

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