When you seek care from a medical professional for a health concern, you’ll probably notice a set of letters next to the healthcare professional’s printed name. These letters – M.D., R.N., or N.P. – tell you that the person from whom you are seeking care went to school and obtained certification, and is either a registered doctor, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner; the letters provide a sense of comfort and reassurance.
But in some states in the nation, new letters alongside names are popping up, many of which patients do not recognize, but that look and sound official. Consider PSC.D, or D. PSc – these letters mean that the health “professional” is not really a professional at all, but rather an individual who has received a license from the Pastoral Medical Association, a Texas-based organization, with a reach that extends to all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 30 countries.
What Is a Pastoral Provider License?
A person who has received a pastoral provider license from the Pastoral Medical Association may refer to themself as a doctor of pastoral medicine, but the truth is, they’re not really a doctor at all; rather, those who hold this type of license are making money by purporting to diagnose and treat illnesses, but they are not certified by states’ medical boards.
According to an article in NPR News, which cited the website of the Pastoral Medical Association, those who call themselves a D. PSc or PSC.D must pass “rigid standards” first (what exactly these rigid standards are, however, is unknown). Applicants must also pay a large fee.
Standards or not, the fact remains: diagnosing, treating, or offering treatment is illegal unless proper licensing and training has been obtained. The bad news: most patients who are treated by D. PScs or PCS.Ds sign confidentiality agreements that, amongst other things, prevent them from filing lawsuits.
When the Care You Receive Is Not Up to Par
The best thing that you can do to protect yourself as a patient and as a consumer is to make sure that all care that you receive is from a certified medical professional. In addition to checking out the professional’s credentials, you should also investigate any previous cases of malpractice that the professional has been involved in.
How a Boston Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Support You
If you believe that you have not received adequate care, and that the violation of the standard of care that you deserve has led to an adverse health event, you may have a cause of action. To learn more about your rights under the law and what to do if you are a victim of malpractice, contact the experienced Boston medical malpractice team at Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. Lawyer Douglas Lovenberg will advocate for you! Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation by calling 617-973-9500.