If you work as a physician in the Lone Star State, you may already have a hectic schedule. Receiving a letter from the Texas Medical Board that says someone has filed a complaint against you may knock you off your game. How you respond to the letter may set the tone for the entire investigation.
TMB investigations are not exactly rare, as the board receives about 7,000 complaints every single year. Because many physicians have never had complaints, a first-time complaint letter may seem catastrophic to you. Still, you do not want to have a knee-jerk response to it.
If you are a good physician, a complaint letter may make you mad. While there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with having an angry reaction, you must take time to cool off before responding to the letter. After all, writing a fast and irate response may make you appear unstable or too busy to manage your practice.
Even if the complaint letter has merit, you should not feel shame about it. You also should not attempt to make the matter go away quickly by immediately admitting fault. Put simply, addressing complaints smartly requires some preparation.
Because a complaint letter may put your career on the line, it may be tempting to put the letter in a drawer and ignore it. Doing so, though, is a mistake. Complaint investigations are often time-sensitive matters, so any delay may complicate your situation.
When you read the first few sentences of a TMB complaint letter, you should allow yourself to feel how you feel. Once you calm down, you should also begin the process of addressing the complaint in a proactive way.