Professional misconduct is straightforward in that it is out of bounds behavior by a professional in a legal, medical, dental, accounting, and engineering profession, or any other “professional”. Often, the term professional misconduct is used in medical malpractice cases when a health care provider demonstrates behavior outside the bounds of what others in the same profession consider to be acceptable.
At times, this may be viewed as an opinion as to what is out of bounds and what is not, which is why many malpractice cases often make use of expert witnesses in the same line of work to testify that a certain behavior is out of bounds from the accepted norm.
Professional misconduct may include, but is not limited to, situations where a professional fraudulently gets a license, practices beyond his or her authorized scope and does so negligently, conducts business while under the influence of a drug or alcohol, delegates responsibilities to an incompetent person, harasses or intimidates a patient or client, or knowingly falsifies records by adding incorrect information or omitting to enter correct information. Professional misconduct cases are often difficult and exceedingly complex, and take a long time to be resolved.