If the investigation finds evidence that the physician has violated the Medical Practice Act and the violation warrants disciplinary action, the case is forwarded to the Attorney General's Office to prepare an accusation. An accusation is a legal document that lists the charges and/or the section(s) of law alleged to have been violated and is served on the licensee.
The physician is entitled to dispute the charges at an administrative hearing. The request for a hearing must be received within fifteen (15) days after the accusation is served pursuant to Government Code Section 11506. The request for a hearing may be made by delivering or mailing a "Notice of Defense" to both the Deputy Attorney General and the Medical Board of California. The Deputy Attorney General's name, address, and telephone number appears on the front page of the accusation. The notice to the Medical Board should be directed to the Discipline Coordination Unit, 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200, Sacramento, CA 95815-3831. If a request for a hearing (or Notice of Defense) is not received, the physician will be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing and the Board may proceed to act on the accusation without a hearing and may take action as provided by law.
The physician may, but need not, be represented by counsel at any or all stages of these proceedings. The hearing is an administrative proceeding that closely resembles a court trial and is presided over by an Administrative Law Judge. After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge writes a proposed decision. The proposed decision is then sent to a panel of the Board for consideration. The members make the final decision on disciplinary matters and can either adopt, modify, or reject the proposed decision.