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Legal Actions and Information

When a WMC investigation shows a licensee has committed a violation of the Uniform Disciplinary Act (UDA), the WMC votes to take action against the license of the practitioner. The WMC uses the clear and convincing legal standard for all cases. Some examples of violations are gross or repeated acts of negligence, conviction of certain crimes, boundary violations or other ethical violations.  Each complaint goes through an initial review process.  Complaints that do not indicate a violation of state law are closed with no further action.

The purpose of the UDA as written is, "to assure the public of the adequacy of professional competence and conduct in the healing arts." The legal unit of the WMC uses law to protect the public by ensuring quality healthcare is provided by physicians and physician assistants. 

Note* all legal actions are posted in the quarterly Washington Medical Commission newsletter which is intended to comply with RCW 18.130.110. 


Below is a listing of most definitions within the WMC legal process: 

  • Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Orderan order issued following a formal hearing.
  • Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Waiver Orderan order issued following a formal hearing in which Respondent does not appear or in which the Respondent waives their right to a hearing. 
  • Informal Disposition (Stipulation to Informal Disposition/STID)a document stating that allegations have been made, and containing an agreement by the licensee to take some type of remedial action to resolve the concerns raised by the allegations.
  • Notice of Decision on Application (NOD) - a notice to an applicant that there are grounds for denying the application. An applicant may request a hearing to prove that he or she is qualified to be licensed.  If an applicant does not request a hearing within 28 days of the service of the NOD, the application is deemed to be denied.
  • Order of Default an order stating that the licensee has failed to either answer a Statement of Charges or otherwise failed to participate in the adjudicative process, resulting in the Commission issuing an order imposing sanctions against the licensee’s license.
  • Order of Reinstatement an order that either reinstates a suspended or revoked license or terminates an Agreed Order or STID.
  • Order on Request for Modification/Stipulation to Modify Order - an order that modifies a prior order.
  • Statement of Charges (SOC) - a document formally charging a licensee with either unprofessional conduct or impairment. The licensee will have an opportunity to defend against the allegations at a hearing.
  • Stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Agreed Ordera document resolving a Statement of Charges. This document contains an agreement by the Respondent to comply with certain terms and conditions to protect the public.
  • Summary Suspension an order summarily suspending a licensee’s license to practice. The licensee will have an opportunity to defend against the summary action.