(a) When one or more physicians duly licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state under this article, or one or more physicians duly licensed under this article and one or more physicians duly licensed under article fourteen of this chapter, or one or more podiatrists duly licensed to practice podiatry in this state wish to form a medical or podiatry corporation, respectively, such physician or physicians or podiatrist or podiatrists shall file a written application therefor with the board on a form prescribed by it and shall furnish proof satisfactory to the board that each applicant is a duly licensed physician or podiatrist. A fee, not to exceed five hundred dollars, the amount of such fee to be set by the board, shall accompany each application. Upon its determination that each applicant is duly licensed, the board shall notify the secretary of state that a certificate of authorization has been issued to the person or persons making the application. When the secretary of state receives such notification from the board, he or she shall attach such authorization to the corporation application and, upon compliance by the corporation with the pertinent provisions of chapter thirty-one of this code, shall notify the incorporators that such corporation, through duly licensed physicians or through duly licensed podiatrists, may engage in the practice of medicine and surgery or the practice of podiatry.
(b) A medical corporation may practice medicine and surgery only through individual physicians duly licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state and a podiatrist may practice podiatry only through individual podiatrists duly licensed to practice podiatry in this state, but such physicians or podiatrists may be employees rather than shareholders of such corporation, and nothing herein contained shall be construed to require a license for or other legal authorization of any individual employed by such corporation to perform services for which no license or other legal authorization is otherwise required. Nothing contained in this article is meant or intended to change in any way the rights, duties, privileges, responsibilities and liabilities incident to the physician-patient or podiatrist-patient relationship nor is it meant or intended to change in any way the personal character of the physician-patient or podiatrist-patient relationship. A corporation holding such certificate of authorization shall register biennially, on or before the thirtieth day of June, on a form prescribed by the board, and shall pay an annual registration fee not to exceed three hundred dollars, the amount of such fee to be set by the board.
(c) A medical or podiatry corporation holding a certificate of authorization shall cease to engage in the practice of medicine and surgery or the practice of podiatry upon being notified by the board that any of its shareholders is no longer a duly licensed physician or podiatrist, or when any shares of such corporation have been sold or disposed of to a person who is not a duly licensed physician or podiatrist: Provided, That the personal representative of a deceased shareholder shall have a period, not to exceed twelve months from the date of such shareholder's death, to dispose of such shares; but nothing contained herein shall be construed as affecting the existence of such corporation or its right to continue to operate for all lawful purposes other than the practice of medicine and surgery or the practice of podiatry.
(d) No corporation shall practice medicine and surgery or any of its branches, or hold itself out as being capable of practicing medicine and surgery, or practice podiatry or hold itself out as being capable of practicing podiatry, without a certificate from the board; nor shall any corporation practice medicine and surgery or any of its branches or hold itself out as being capable of practicing medicine and surgery, or practice podiatry or hold itself out as being capable of practicing podiatry, after its certificate has been revoked, or if suspended, during the term of such suspension. A certificate signed by the secretary of the board to which is affixed the official seal of the board to the effect that it appears from the records of the board that no such certificate to practice medicine and surgery or any of its branches, or to practice podiatry, in the state has been issued to any such corporation specified therein or that such certificate has been revoked or suspended shall be admissible in evidence in all courts of this state and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.
(e) Any officer, shareholder or employee of such corporation who participates in a violation of any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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