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The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site - www.ag.state.mi.us)



Opinion No. 6323

November 19, 1985


Practice of medicine under an assumed name

A physician may not practice medicine under an assumed name.

Charles C. Vincent, M.D.


Michigan Board of Medicine

P.O. Box 30018

Lansing, Michigan 48909

Your predecessor requested my opinion on the following question:

May a physician, upon the request of a prospective employer, practice under a pseudonym in order to avoid the notoriety associated with prior disciplinary action by the board, if the physician: (1) openly displays his or her license under his true name, and (2) candidly answers any questions regarding his or her true identity?

MCL 750.289; MSA 28.509, provides:

'Any person who shall practice medicine or advertise to practice medicine under a false or assumed name, or under a name other than his own, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not more than 1 year or by a fine of not more than 500 dollars.'

Where language in a statute is clear and unambiguous, it must be given its plain meaning and no interpretation is necessary. Brandon Twp v North-Oakland Residential Services, Inc, 110 Mich App 300; 312 NW2d 238 (1981), lv den 412 Mich 900 (1982). The language in the above statute unequivocally prohibits an individual from using an assumed name while engaging in the practice of medicine. Moreover, the Michigan Supreme Court has upheld the validity of statutes prohibiting health professionals from practicing under a name other than that under which the license was granted. Lewis v Michigan State Board of Dentistry, 277 Mich 334; 269 NW2d 194 (1936).

It is my opinion, therefore, that a physician may not practice medicine under an assumed name.

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General

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