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Can a Psychologist Be Sued For Malpractice in Illinois?

Posted on in Psychologist/ Social Worker License Defense

IL license lawyerPsychologists provide an important service for their patients, who rely on their expertise for therapy and treatment of a wide range of mental and behavioral health issues. Psychologists who breach their patients’ trust may face serious consequences, including the loss of their license. In some cases, they may even face medical malpractice lawsuits.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional breaches his or her duty of care to a patient, resulting in the patient’s injury or harm. For physical healthcare providers, some of the most common forms of malpractice are surgical errors, improper medication or prescriptions, misdiagnosis, and misinterpretation of test results or patient history.

While psychologists may not have a medical degree, they do provide a form of healthcare, and prescribing psychologists are licensed to prescribe medical treatment. Therefore, they may face medical malpractice claims related to improper prescriptions, misdiagnoses, or failure to diagnose a mental health condition. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), some psychologists also face claims of malpractice due to emotional abuse or sexual misconduct with their clients.

Other Disciplinary Action for Illinois Psychologists

Fortunately, medical malpractice among psychologists is quite rare, with the APA reporting that fewer than 2 percent of psychologists face a malpractice lawsuit throughout their careers. However, 40 percent will receive at least one licensing board complaint, which can result in disciplinary action from the state licensing board, including the loss of one’s license. In addition to sexual misconduct with a client, other behaviors that can result in discipline include:

  • Offering services you are not qualified to provide
  • Misrepresenting or exaggerating the effectiveness of your treatment
  • Impersonating another person who has a psychology license
  • Failing to inform research subjects of potential side effects
  • Violating patient confidentiality

If you have received complaints of misconduct, you may be facing an investigation by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). An attorney can help you understand the investigation process and what you must do to comply, and can also help you prepare a defense that may allow you to avoid disciplinary action.

Contact an Illinois Professional License Defense Attorney

At the Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC, we have a thorough understanding of the IDFPR, and we strive to help psychologists and other licensed professionals maintain their licenses and ability to practice. When you are facing an investigation, we will do our part to help you avoid unnecessary discipline and the potential loss of your license. Contact an Illinois professional license defense lawyer today at 630-310-1267 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/malpractice

https://illinoispsychology.org/prescribing-psychologists/

https://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/068/068014000A00500R.html

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