© Gary Inglese
Dental Defense - Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations Defense - Dental-Legal Issues - Dental Risk Management - Dental Contracts and Business Issues - Dental Office Transitions
Notice of the conference is sent to the licensee and is held in the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. Present at the conference is the Department’s prosecuting attorney and one or more members of the Board of Dentistry. The purpose of the conference is to allow you to present your side of the story to the Department attorney and member of the Board and to discuss discipline of your license, if the Board of Dentistry member(s) feel it is appropriate.
Generally, it can be assumed that the Department attorney feels discipline is appropriate or he would not have scheduled the conference in the first place. The conference is generally 30 minutes or so in duration. If you receive notice for a Disciplinary Conference, it is advisable to have an attorney present to represent you.
Conferences are scheduled for the convenience of the members of the Board of Dentistry. If the scheduled time is not convenient for you or your attorney, with a valid reason, your attorney can reschedule the conference for another date when conferences are being held.
If you hire an attorney to represent you, be open and up-front with the attorney. Assume the Department has gathered a lot of information about you. Tell your attorney about previous contacts with the Department, malpractice cases, licensure problems, substance abuse, whatever. Tell all and take their advice. Follow their instructions and directions how to respond to hard questions. Just as you are proficient in your profession, your attorney is knowledgeable in these matters. Be respectful of Department staff and members of the Board of Dentistry.
If discipline of your license is recommended at the conclusion of the Disciplinary Conference, you do not have to decide immediately if you will accept the recommendation. Your attorney can get back to the Department attorney. You still have the option of going to a formal hearing where witnesses and experts are presented and there is the opportunity for cross-examination. This will be explained by the Department attorney at the beginning of the conference.
[This section is based on an article written by Michael Vold that originally appeared in theChicago Dental Society Review.]
IDFPR has two types conferences --- Investigative Conferences and Disciplinary Conferences.
These conferences have different purposes and different intents. The Investigative Conference is scheduled with the investigator assigned to the particular case. Its purpose is to discover facts and gather evidence. You will be asked questions regarding the subject matter of the investigation and your answers are noted and documented in a report written by the investigator. This conference generally lasts one to two hours and usually takes place in the Department’s Des Plaines office.
The Investigative Conference report is reviewed by the Department’s Dental Coordinator and if she feels discipline is in order, the file is passed along to the Department’s Prosecutions Unit.
The report is reviewed by the prosecuting attorney and if he feels that there is a violation of the Dental Practice Act, substandard care delivered, fraud, insurance violations, unprofessional conduct or a host of other violations, a Disciplinary Conference is scheduled.