Nyxelestia (nyxelestia) wrote in little_details,

Underage Doctors

Setting: Portland, Oregon, USA

My character is a 17 year old, and was one of those obscenely smart kids and got his medical degree by his midteens, currently around 15 or 16. I was wondering, would there be any issues to him being a fully licensed medical professional due to his age? What would be any legal issues (especially concerning things like insurance, malpractice, liability, ect.) concerning him if he was a full doctor? If something goes wrong, would his parents be culpable in any way, on paper? Would there be any kind of special procedures or court procedures he might have to go through to become a doctor? Or, would just the fact he's got a full medical degree be enough, age be damned? I imagine there would be a lot of legal trouble involved with being an underage doctor simply because there's a mountain of paperwork in legal trouble involved being any kind of doctor.

Would any of these be affected by him being an emancipated minor?

And questions about medical degrees in general:

I understand that for most medical degrees, you need to have done some practical work at an actual hospital (which I can say he has already done if this is necessary), but internships and the like start after you get that fancy piece of paper calling you Doctor. Or, are the internships part of the program to finishing a medical degree? Both the Internet and TV seem unclear about this. :|

The reason why I ask this is that so far, my character, regardless of whether or not he can be a doctor, isn't being one, mostly due to the fact a.) even though he's fully licensed, he's well aware of the cultural/interpersonal trouble he'd have getting patients to take him seriously as a doctor, and b.) he's really damn ticked off at his parents (aka personal reasons). But when there's a disaster and the hospital gets flooded and a doctor goes missing, this guy is going to fill in for the next few weeks while the original doctor gets sorted. I ask about the internships and stuff because I would like for him to be at a stage where he can, in terms of his education and credits/programs he's completed, be a full, independent doctor - he just chooses not to be.

Legally, would this be possible? Would any of this be possible, even at the furthest stretch of the imagination? Or would I just have to make my character 18 and be done with it?

Thank you for all your help!

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