Medical licensure in CA

Will an expunged drug paraphernalia charge in NC affect medical licensure in CA or show up on background checks?

Charged with drug paraphernalia in 2012 in NC, an attorney helped expunge the charge. Applying to medical school but am worried that my expunged charge may negatively affect medical licensing in CA.

Nathan’s Answer

It is laudable you sought and received expungement. In California, Boards have plenary power to investigate the facts that resulted in the underlying conviction, in order to assess your suitability for licensing. Applying for medical school, rotations, residency and eventually credentialing/privileges will result you in you having to confront a host of applications that will ask about past convictions. The application for licensing as a doctor will be the most thorough, and will require a well thought out submission in addition to the application that explains the facts underlying the conviction. It is important to note that a drug matter is not taken lightly by the Medical Board, and you will need to demonstrate factors that go to your rehabilitation from whatever the Board is entitled to reasonably perceive was the problem. Assistance from an attorney in an application to medical school may be warranted, as this will set the state for the later application submissions. Becoming a doctor is an arduous path, and if you are seriously pursuing this learned profession, this should not be a set-back, as long as you have learned from a former charge.

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