2020 Georgia Code
Title 43 - Professions and Businesses
Chapter 34 - Physicians, Acupuncture, Physician Assistants, Cancer and Glaucoma Treatment, Respiratory Care, Clinical Perfusionists, and Orthotics and Prosthetics Practice
Article 2 - Medical Practice
§ 43-34-42. Penalty

Universal Citation: GA Code § 43-34-42 (2020)
  1. Any person who practices medicine without complying with this article or who otherwise violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of $1,000.00 per each violation or by imprisonment from two to five years, or both.
  2. Any person presenting or attempting to file as his or her own the diploma or certificate or credentials of another or who shall give false or forged evidence of any kind to the board or any member thereof in connection with an application for a license to practice medicine or who shall practice medicine under a false or assumed name or who shall falsely impersonate any other practitioner of a like or different name shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of $5,000.00 or by imprisonment from two to five years, or both.

(Ga. L. 1913, p. 101, § 15; Code 1933, § 84-9914; Ga. L. 1976, p. 687, § 2; Code 1981, §43-34-46; Code 1981, §43-34-42, as redesignated by Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2009, p. 859, § 1/HB 509, effective July 1, 2009, redesignated former Code Section 43-34-42 as present Code Section 43-34-37.


Mere failure to have license to practice does not authorize inference of negligence when one attempts to treat or operate on another and injures that person. Andrews v. Lofton, 80 Ga. App. 723, 57 S.E.2d 338 (1950).

Plaintiff must establish causal relation between lack of license and injury sustained.

- Allegations that duties and inhibitions imposed upon the defendant by statutes as to necessity of having a license to practice medicine or surgery were due to plaintiff and child personally, and as members of public seeking medical and surgical care, and that death of the child was a natural and probable consequence of violation of such statutes by the defendant were subject to demurrer (now motion to dismiss) for failure to show anything having a causal relation to death of child. Andrews v. Lofton, 80 Ga. App. 723, 57 S.E.2d 338 (1950).

Defendant's holding out as physician is relevant in establishing why plaintiff engaged defendant's services.

- Allegations made that the defendant falsely held out as a physician and surgeon, and that physician/surgeon did not possess qualifications necessary for possession of a license are pertinent by way of history or inducement as to why plaintiff engaged services of the defendant and for that reason should not be stricken on demurrer (now motion to dismiss), though irrelevant on question of defendant's negligence. Andrews v. Lofton, 80 Ga. App. 723, 57 S.E.2d 338 (1950).

License to practice medicine.

- Second doctor was not licensed to practice medicine as the second doctor had voluntarily suspended that doctor's license by allowing the license to expire because the doctor had begun to suffer from dementia; thus, the doctor's statement to police that the nurse had attempted to fill prescriptions written by the second doctor after the second doctor had surrendered that doctor's medical license was true. As a result, the nurse did not have a viable claim for slander against the doctor. Gunnells v. Marshburn, 259 Ga. App. 657, 578 S.E.2d 273 (2003).

Cited in Morton v. Gardner, 242 Ga. 852, 252 S.E.2d 413 (1979); Foster v. Georgia Bd. of Chiropractic Exmrs., 257 Ga. 409, 359 S.E.2d 877 (1987).



- Hypnotism as illegal practice of medicine, 85 A.L.R.2d 1128.

Practicing medicine, surgery, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, or other healing arts without a license as a separate or continuing offense, 99 A.L.R.2d 654.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.