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NEW MARYLAND LAW ALLOWS PHYSICAL & MENTAL COMPETENCY EVALUATIONS OF VETERINARIANS

By       Message L.M. Brown     Permalink
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There is now more reason to love Maryland in addition to the flavor of savory crab-cakes, the charm of Lexington Market in Baltimore, sights of bright sailboats dotting the Chesapeake Bay and the prominence of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. As a former resident of the Old Line State, I was very pleased to learn that Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley, recently signed into law Senate Bill 146.

 

Effective October 1, 2011, this new law allows the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to ask for mental and/or physical exams of persons seeking licensure to practice veterinary medicine. Perhaps more importantly, this new law would allow such examinations of licensed veterinarians who are under legal investigation. The state board may request a veterinarian to undergo physical and mental testing if the board suspects that individual of being unable to competently practice veterinary medicine. Refusal of the applicant for licensure or the veterinarian to subject himself/herself to such testing would be considered evidence of incompetence to practice veterinary medicine, according to the state board. A vet's refusal of such testing would only be exempt if the noncompliance were due to circumstances beyond the veterinarian's control. Please see Senate Bill 146 here: http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/bills/sb/sb0146t.pdf

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An interesting article discussing the new law can be found on the DVM 360 website: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=732424   According to this source, both licensed veterinarians and persons seeking licensure may be put on probation, or have their applications or existing licenses revoked. Conditions warranting revocations of veterinary medical licenses include:

 

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-          Failure to practice veterinary medicine competently due to a physical or mental disability

-          State or federal conviction due to violation of drug laws (i.e., prescription drugs, dangerous substance, or controlled substance)

-          Felony conviction of a crime connected to moral depravity

-          Conviction due to fraudulent practice, or misrepresentation of qualifications

-          Having a judgment of gross personal negligence rendered in a civil malpractice case

-          Possessing a fraudulent license

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-          Guilty of gross negligence or intentional animal cruelty

-          Being disciplined by another state's licensing board; having license from another state suspended or revoked

-          Finding of incompetency by 4 of the 7 state board members

-          Noncompliance with state board regulations

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L.M. Brown is a graduate of Lamar University, Beaumont, TX (B.S. 1998 in Nutrition & Dietetics). Since 1981, she has held various positions within the health-care industry: at age 17, she first became a nurse's assistant at a small hospital (more...)
 

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NEW MARYLAND LAW ALLOWS PHYSICAL & MENTAL COMPETENCY EVALUATIONS OF VETERINARIANS