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THE.PA.PAC

DUI before PA school and now facing licensing issues.

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How many times did you drive intoxicated without being caught?

 

Probably as many times as YOU have...

 

As someone who works daily in Addiction Medicine, I can recount many MANY patients with DUIs that were NOT alcoholics.

Some who rarely drank (which is why they were intoxicated when they were caught) ... and many who actually did have substance use disorders that did NOT include alcohol.

 

For instance.... most of the heroin addicts I treat don't even drink... but have had DUIs...

Also, a significant portion (~35%-40%) of the court ordered Substance Use Disorder/Chemical Dependency Assessments I complete points squarely at "abuse" and away from dependence...

 

Yes... alcohol is by far the leading substance used to generate a DUI charge, but its just not as simple as, "if you have a DUI, You are alcoholic." Do a simple google serch for the term "non-alcohol related DUI."

 

So take a second and climb down off your lofty steed... and try to add something constructive.

 

Contrarian

p.s... NO I do not have any DUIs on my lengthy arrest record.

Edited by Contrarian

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How many times did you drive intoxicated without being caught?

 

Probably as many times as YOU have...

 

As someone who works daily in Addiction Medicine, I can recount many MANY patients with DUIs that were NOT alcoholics.

Some who rarely drank (which is why they were intoxicated when they were caught) ... and many who actually did have substance use disorders that did NOT include alcohol.

 

For instance.... most of the heroin addicts I treat don't even drink... but have had DUIs...

Also, a significant portion (~35%-40%) of the court ordered Substance Use Disorder/Chemical Dependency Assessments I complete points squarely at "abuse" and away from dependence...

 

Yes... alcohol is by far the leading substance used to generate a DUI charge, but its just not as simple as, "if you have a DUI, You are alcoholic." Do a simple google serch for the term "non-alcohol related DUI."

 

So take a second and climb down off your lofty steed... and try to add something constructive.

 

Contrarian

p.s... NO I do not have any DUIs on my lengthy arrest record.

Edited by Contrarian

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PLEASE READ THE WHOLE POST AND REPLY IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS BECAUSE I NEED URGENT HELP:

 

The board has decided to hold my probationary license in favor of a closed-door meeting in two month's time to determine "whether the stipulations are too much (unlikely), not enough (likely), or will be out-right denied (hopefully unlikely)."

 

Without giving too much information, I have been waiting for for my state license for months (3<x<12) and during that time:

 

I have gone through all of my savings;

I have taken on several new credit cards;

I have borrowed money from family members;

I have sold every single thing I own except for my bed, clothes, printer, computer and 2006 vehicle (which I have on Craigslist if you're interested).

 

There is no chance I can sustain my current way of life (i.e., everything except living out of my vehicle, and to put "living" into perspective my rent is only $300 and monthly groceries/utilities/phone/gas are only $150) until the board's "closed-door meeting" -- a meeting in which I've been told if I contact the board they cannot and will not respond with regards to "hearing my case."

 

WHAT DO I DO?

 

I have limited discretionary income to apply for another state's license -- but if I did, any ideas on which states are "cheap," "quick" and "liberal"?

 

I have talked to military recruiters and with my situation they have said waivers can take up to a year (including matriculation to OCS).

 

Where can I work as a PA without a state license? I need to seriously pull in some money ASAP. I will go anywhere and do anything so long as it's as a PA. I will work any hours (nights, weekends, holidays, whatever). I need a job and I am totally lost as to what I can do. Without military experience I cannot work oversees at the many "government contractor" positions I see.

 

Ideas?

 

Resources?

 

If you have a spot open that can take on someone in my position I am willing to drive anywhere (using the last bit of money I have) to find employment.

 

The mistake I made was years ago and although my state board says "our decisions are not made to punish," that's all I feel they are doing. I acted stupid, idiotic, retarded, [insert whatever you want], but I have paid the price, coughed up the money and finished probation, and I am still stuck in limbo.

 

I am a safe provider, and I need a job utilizing the skill-set I have trained years to achieve.

 

Any help is appreciated. I am literally weeks away from not paying my bills and I do not want to take legal action (i.e., more money, more time, less results).

 

PLEASE HELP.

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Challenge the clinical officer exam in South Africa. Wouldn't know how to do it, but that's my only idea.

 

Thanks for the input. I have thought about challenging another country's boards (especially English-speaking countries). But those do not offer the income I need. Travel expenses aside, I believe I'd be better off working at Starbucks. (Any info on another country's pay EMEDPA?)

 

But what about: "another state's license . . . that is 'cheap,' 'quick' and 'liberal'?"

Or off-shore oil rigs? Or any other non-state license jobs available?

 

Please respond with ideas.

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I am not aware of any solution to this that will allow you to get a PA job without a license. There are jobs in the federal government that will allow you to practice without a state license, but every option such as government service, foreign service, and the VA require an initial license to be hired. Unless someone else knows of a solution, the only recommendation I have is a temporary job to bring in income.

 

I do understand tough times. 1982, armed with a degree in anthropology and a recession with little job prospects, I went to the recruiter myself. Navy officer applicants had a year wait before the board would meet and decide if you would be selected, Air Force was only accepting pilot and navigator applicants and I was too nearsighted to qualify. I was not going to be happy doing combat arms in the Army, so I enlisted in the AF and got a pay raise to $500 a month. I hope you find a way out that is suitable.

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I've received quite a few private messages, and a lot of them are suggesting the VA System and Bureau of Prisons.

 

Any idea how to get a DEA license with either of these routes as you need state license to obtain DEA license, right?

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okay.. this reaction by the board is ... interesting.

 

there must be some mitigating factor that I am not aware of to cause this reaction by them.

 

? the report by the impaired provider evaluation??

 

with limited funds, I think I might consider going on the offensive.

 

assuming that you have told the story, the whole story and not dropped salient negative details, print out what you have told us, the board's letters and their paperwoerk to you,

 

print out your financial situation (bank statements, etc), and the details necessary to show your financial straits, and contact your local state assembly person. In person. Go to his local office.. try to make your case with the person there, who might support your case higher up the food chain.. you need an involved advocate.

 

the board, after all, works for the legislature..

 

you are not asking for the world, you are merely asking for an expedited hearing.. which they can easily accommodate, if sufficiently stimulated.

 

sounds like you have nothing to lose, and less time to lose it.

 

In north Carolina the board was taken to task by the legislature several years ago when the board made a policy that it was unethical for a state MD or PA to partake in state executions.. essentially shutting down the ability of the state to execute someone. several docs and PAs went to the legislature and things changed.

 

Also, contact your school, give them a FYI, and an update as to what is happening, so that they might want to consider DUIs in future applications.. if this state's policy is to deny applications from folks who made a distant mistake.

 

given the facts as you have presented them, the board has made an extraordinary ruling.

 

have you considered bureau of indian affairs? I do not know if they require a state license

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Federal government PAs may not need a DEA. As an example, to work at a military installation, meds are dispensed out of the pharmacy on base without a DEA.

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Through private messages I have received a lot of support (so thank you) and a lot of questions (sorry for not clarifying). In my first post I had said that I was issued a probationary license, but I didn't mention that each board member needed to sign-off on the stipulations I was offered (a process I was told would be achieved through mail-in ballot, and a process I thought would be smooth sailing -- after all, I had already received the stipulations).

 

So, while waiting for the board members, I was told I would be meeting with someone from my state's version of an impaired provider service. I still have not had that meeting, and two days ago I was told that at least two board members felt they should discuss my case at the next board meeting, so that's what is going to happen. Other than "we sympathize with your situation" the board has done little else except take their time with this matter (e.g., with each new aspect of this process I am told "responses can take up to a month," and everything literally takes a month).

 

But now it's going to be two months.

 

Another forum member sent me a link to a few cases regarding DUIs, and although some are quite serious they seemed to have been approved. (It's worth noting these cases are not from my state, and I have decided to withhold each applicants name):

 

Applicant One appeared in support of his application for Physician Assistant licensure. Applicant One was a new graduate asked by staff to appear because of an alcohol related offense in 1996. Applicant One had been assessed and did not meet the criteria for having a problem with dependency or abuse. Applicant One testified regarding the incident and said would not happen again. Dr. X stated had watched him during his training in the PA program and no problems were noted. Dr. X moved to recommend licensure be granted pending satisfactory completion of the file. Mr. Y seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

 

Applicant Two appeared in support of his application for Physician Assistant licensure. Applicant Two was a new graduate asked by staff to appear because of an arrest in 1999 for reckless driving and attempting to elude an officer and a 2000 Driving Under the Influence charge. Applicant Two's assessment showed no problems with alcohol or drugs. Dr. X moved to recommend approval of the application pending satisfactory completion of the file. Mr. Y seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

 

Applicant Three appeared in support of his application for Physician Assistant licensure. Applicant Three had been asked by staff to appear because of prior arrests including a 1979 charge of damage to private property and possession of controlled substances; a 1983 DUI; a 1995 DUI/possession of marijuana; and a 1998 actual possession and control of vehicle. Applicant Three testified regarding his arrests. A substance abuse assessment showed no chemical dependency. Dr. X said he had known Applicant Three almost 13 years and he has become a much different person than he was ten years ago. Dr. X moved to recommend approval pending satisfactory completion of the file. Mr. Y seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

I guess that means there is hope, but I sure wish I knew someone on the board (as in the last case). In the mean time, I will look at every available option for employment that does not require a state license, and I also have someone working with me for a waiver to join the military.

 

I just want this situation to be over.

Edited by THE.PA.PAC

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I was on the PA Committee of the Medical Board in Oregon for 6 years. This issue came up occasionally. The most critical part of this is what you have already been done - you were totally honest with the board. Based on what I have seen here, your initial meeting should be the end of things. Medical Boards have the ability to put all kinds of strings on things but can be flexible in how they allow things to be fulfilled. It is conceivable that you may be put into the program for a couple of years but if you follow their conditions during that period (which, imho, you should not be put into the program) then you will be cleared. In Oregon if you were put in the program I would think it would require quarterly reports from your SP for the duration of the program. If they do decide to put you in the program, then grit your teeth and you will get through it. With the information you have presented, I would hope they can see that you don't belong in the program. good luck.

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I've been following your story- I'm sorry it's turned out this way. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

 

I'm active duty, and it used to be that PA's didn't need a license, but that is in the process of changing- now one is required for all providers in the military active and civilian. I also used to work for a Native American hospital. Indian Affairs providers are usually commissioned Public Health officers- and they are in the midst of a hiring freeze so you're unlikely to get picked up by them even with a clean record- and civilian. Civilian BIA providers need to be licensed in whatever state they practice in. People keep saying VA to you but those jobs are like gold- very hard to come by in general. Besides, it can take up to a year to go through the hiring process so I don't think that would help you. Plus, you need a license to be competitive.

 

I don't have personal experience with the BOP, it may be an option for you, I don't know.

 

I used to work in Alaska. They are fairly liberal with their licenses, but they are SLOOOOOW. I mean, really, really slow. If you got hired on the pipeline, they might get you a temp one though. Good money there too.

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I'm floored by this whole story. I can't believe a guy who got one DUI and has paid the full criminal/civil price for it is being treated so suspect. There are docs and PA's that get to keep their license after prescribing meds for their wives, treating themselves, etc. with a slap on the wrist, a few years probation and some classes. Maybe because it's initial licensure? I find it hard to believe that this isn't happening all the time as LOTS of people make a mistake and get one DUI. Losing a competent professional from the medical community for one infraction seems terribly harsh.

 

Pat

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I'm floored by this whole story. I can't believe a guy who got one DUI and has paid the full criminal/civil price for it is being treated so suspect. There are docs and PA's that get to keep their license after prescribing meds for their wives, treating themselves, etc. with a slap on the wrist, a few years probation and some classes. Maybe because it's initial licensure? I find it hard to believe that this isn't happening all the time as LOTS of people make a mistake and get one DUI. Losing a competent professional from the medical community for one infraction seems terribly harsh.

 

Pat

 

 

I agree with Pat, I have looked into the public records here in FL and it is INCREDIBLE how many medical professionals have some sort of criminal background, and even more amazing that many of these physicians that go before the council with MULTIPLE DUI cases and clear substance abuse issues are granted licenses.

 

If you are not granted a full and unrestricted license to practice in your state, I would be shocked.

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In Oregon if you were put in the program I would think it would require quarterly reports from your SP for the duration of the program. If they do decide to put you in the program, then grit your teeth and you will get through it. With the information you have presented, I would hope they can see that you don't belong in the program. good luck.

 

That is what I am still afraid of having to go through. Even if I am not forced into the program, my SP will still have to write quarterly letters as per the initial stipulations I was offered, and before I start working my SP needs to write a letter informing the board that he/she is familiar with my case and agrees to write the quarterly letters. Imagine even getting a job while dropping that bomb during the interview.

 

I'm active duty, and it used to be that PA's didn't need a license, but that is in the process of changing . . .

 

This is extremely bad news (at least for me).

 

I used to work in Alaska. They are fairly liberal with their licenses, but they are SLOOOOOW. I mean, really, really slow. If you got hired on the pipeline, they might get you a temp one though. Good money there too.

 

I have looked into various states and their "temporary licenses," and a lot of those licenses you need to relinquish if the board denies you an unrestricted license, so I am hesitant to relocate, work for a few weeks and then find out "Oh, sorry, we're not going to issue an unrestricted license and you need to give the temporary license back to us."

 

I am still checking out BOP jobs, and I'll report how that goes. Other than Indeed, Craigslist, Doc Cafe, Simply Hired, and individual state boards, where are you all finding these jobs?

 

I'm floored by this whole story.

 

I'm with you there.

 

LOTS of people make a mistake and get one DUI. Losing a competent professional from the medical community for one infraction seems terribly harsh.

 

Yes, people make mistakes, and I am really hoping I am not shut out from my home state. Maybe it was my BAC -- I really don't know. In my state if your BAC > 0.20 percent you need to attend a 9-month alcohol program, but anything under is the standard 3-month program, so while my BAC was pretty close to that number I was still not over that maximum for the 3-month program, so three months is what I did.

 

Other than that, there is nothing in the police report that shows the arrest in a negative light (well, at least nothing more negative than the arrest itself). I didn't fight with officers. I didn't try to get away. I pulled over, got arrested and was slapped with fines and probation -- all of which I have since finished.

 

I agree with Pat, I have looked into the public records here in FL and it is INCREDIBLE how many medical professionals have some sort of criminal background, and even more amazing that many of these physicians that go before the council with MULTIPLE DUI cases and clear substance abuse issues are granted licenses. If you are not granted a full and unrestricted license to practice in your state, I would be shocked.

 

Yes, there are quite a few, and my situation is probably not too far from normal. My main mistake in filing for licensure was waiting to pass PANCE to get the whole process started. The board says it can take up to 30 days to process an application, so I overnighted all of my material within a week of passing PANCE, but the court, police department and other licensing agencies (I was an EMT-B beforehand) all took > 1 month to send their information to the board.

 

On top of that, the board was only open for a total of six days in the last two weeks of December . . .

 

. . . and then I'm told that the person who will review my case and type the stipulations is on vacation and will not be back in office until February . . .

 

. . . and then I get a letter in the second week of February asking if I want the probationary license . . .

 

. . . and then I overnight my response, and I get the stipulations a week later . . .

 

. . . and then I sign the paperwork and overnight the document to the board . . .

 

. . . and then I am told the probationary license will take one month . . .

 

. . . and then one month passes and guess what?

 

"At least two members voted to review your case at the next board meeting."

 

I mention I have extra debt, exhausted my savings, sold my possessions and have done everything shy of living out of my vehicle and guess what?

 

"We sympathize with your situation."

 

I feel like Johnny Fontane and Vito Corleone at the same time:

 

 

What else can you do?

Edited by THE.PA.PAC

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YOu might be able to join the National Guard. Even if it was not as an officer you could always commision later. The NG and the regular army have different morals standards. I am a medical NCO in NYNG Medcom and joined in 2011 with a 20 year old possession offense on my record and fully disclosed it. The military uses age limits and morals standards as the two main tools to control recruitment levels. At that time it was already tight and you could not join the reg. army with a misdemeanor conviction but you could join the guard (there are felons in the army now who joined when Iraq was hot in 2006. It was like the foreign legion then!). The training is the same for the first 6 mos. and you would at least have "3 hots and a cot" and pay off some bills. You could always commission later and it might burnish your case to be serving. You would have to check state by state by calling recruiters. The age limit has been lowered for both but I'm pretty sure one DWI is OK in NG if not the army as well.

Edited by mtnlion44

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You mentioned being an EMT-B. Could you potentially get some EMT work to pay your bills and survive in the meantime? Are you friendly with any old employers? What about teaching ACLS? Just trying to think outside the box for you. Your situation sucks. :( Hope things work out for you.

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At this point I would be returning to work at my pre-PA location of employment with the explanation that "licensing and credentialing take a long time" and working there until it's straightened out.

 

If I didn't have a pre-PA workplace, I would be applying anywhere that offers an hourly wage and health insurance. Including Starbucks.

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At this point I would be returning to work at my pre-PA location of employment with the explanation that "licensing and credentialing take a long time" and working there until it's straightened out.

 

If I didn't have a pre-PA workplace, I would be applying anywhere that offers an hourly wage and health insurance. Including Starbucks.

 

Have you contacted the AAPA to see if they can help you along and grease the wheels?

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i guess i have no shot at getting a PA license. I got a DUI Mar 2013 and i am done with school aug and have some great jobs lined up. still in court fighting to get it dismissed. does not look like that will happen. I am not a binge or a person who parties. One bad night. i have did my bs masters and pa program in 4 yrs. i suck!! i live in ny law is strict.

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Sorry for the delay, but the last few months have been extremely trying . . . and . . . at long last . . . extremely rewarding.

 

Long story short: My state's board wanted to add more stipulations, so I thought all was lost (because the way it was initially explained to me was that if I said "No," I would be flat-out denied, and this denial would be public record, and then I would always have to mark "Yes" when other state license applications asked whether or not I had ever been denied a license in another state). But that was not the case. There was one saving grace: Withdrawal of application. The board had never even mentioned this option until I got the revised version of the initial stipulations (which was more than a year and a half after I had started the whole process). Nevertheless, I asked for my application to be withdrawn, and it was granted.

 

Also, for anyone who has had charges long enough to get expunged: Do it. As I have come to find out, some state license applications say that you do not have to disclose expunged or sealed charges, and that you can mark "No" to the question "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" The number of states that explicitly (or maybe not so explicitly, i.e., finding out by anonymously calling the boards to see if this all right) are not too plentiful, but they are out there.

 

So what happened to me?

 

I moved several states away (and I do mean "several," i.e., thousands of miles) and I have since gained licensure in a handful of states. I have also found employment, and just in time to avoid defaulting on loans and credit cards.

 

Key to success? Again, move ahead with expungement, research state boards and apply to those that accept expungements as equal to "No, I have never been convicted of a crime." DEA is not a problem because their only hurdle is convictions dealing with controlled substances. Hospitals will still run background checks, but because they are not federal employers you can legally mark "No" to their background questions. If it ever becomes an issue, then I have hard copies of my expungement. It hasn't been a problem yet, and hopefully it stays that way. Private practices may or may not do background checks, so it may be a non-issue (my experience regarding background checks for providers is that smaller practices do not, but some might).

 

As for all the private messages I have received that are centered on headaches with PANCE registration: Answer truthfully and (at least for four-year-old driving under the influence charges) they will "deliberate" for a few days, but will ultimately allow you to take the exam.

 

All is not lost if you are in a similar situation, through it certainly does suck. And it sucks for a long, long time. But it does get better. Good luck.

Edited by THE.PA.PAC
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