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Sheridon Spoon

Adam Russell (Discipline)
Advice Counsel to the Board

Darra Coleman (Policy)
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**The Office of Advice Counsel is responsible for
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South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners


Approved by the Board: May 22-24, 2000 Board meeting

Service Area: Compliance

Subject: Missed drug screens (first time) or initial positive reports


In determining whether to recommend issuance of a temporary suspension order for a first-time missed drug screen or initial positive report by a Board referred participant, staff shall immediately advise the licensee to complete the following steps within twenty-four hours or the next working day, whichever is shorter:

1. Immediately stop practicing pending resolution of non-compliance issues. Submit a copy to staff of all requests for voluntary medical leave (with no patient care) to all employers and hospitals at which privileges are held and any other written confirmation from supervisors, colleagues, office managers, or other persons requested by staff to confirm complete withdrawal from practice; and

2. Provide a drug screen in any manner requested by the RecoveringProfessionalProgram (RPP); and

3. Present himself/herself to the RPP or a provider designated by the RPP for prompt evaluation of possible impairment. This evaluation shall be for the purpose of determining whether the missed drug screen was the result of non-compliance or relapse.

If it is determined by the RPP that there is no relapse involved by individual evaluation, the licensee may be approved in writing to resume practice and the incident shall not be counted as the first time missed drug screen or initial positive report under this policy. Once staff has been advised by the RPP that a licensee has been approved to return to practice, a letter authorizing the licensee to return to practice shall be sent from the Board Administrator. When appropriate, the letter also shall include admonishment against repeating such action with a reminder of the consequences involved and notification that the licensee may be required to appear before the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

If it is determined that relapse is involved either by individual evaluation or subsequent drug screen result, the licensee may be required by the RPP to obtain an inpatient or intensive outpatient evaluation at a left approved by the RPP and/or obtain treatment as recommended by the evaluation team at a treatment facility approved by the RPP. The results of the evaluation, any treatment, subsequent drug screens, and other information received will be verbally reported immediately by the RPP to the Board Administrator followed by written report for the President's or Board's consideration, as appropriate. A temporary order of suspension may be issued immediately by the President of the Board based on the information gathered and the recommendation of the RPP. The standard disciplinary process shall be initiated for an appearance and hearing to take place in due course.

If the licensee refuses or fails to follow the foregoing procedure, staff shall recommend the immediate issuance of a temporary suspension order by the President of the Board for violation of the licensee's order or agreement.

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Columbia, S.C. 29210
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