As of September 17th, I have been practicing in this town for 30 years. When I arrived on September 17, 1982, I had one of the highest medical degrees in the United States – an MD with honors from the University of Granada, Spain, a PhD with honors in Preventive and Social Medicine from Madrid University, Spain, a diploma in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Toronto, Canada, and two Board Certifications in Internal Medicine and Family Medicine. A few years later in 1988, I passed a new added certification in Geriatrics, thus I became the only one in the United States to have all these degrees, and maybe the only one in the whole world. That means I am not bragging that I am better than others, but as a Family Practitioner, I was very proud to have accomplished this with hard work and the Blessing of Almighty God.
It was in 1990 when I first had problems with the Quality Assurance Commission, which used to be called Medical Disciplinary Board. Since that year, things have not been the same, as my prayers have been: oh, Lord, protect me from the medical board - as I felt all along that it has nothing to do with practicing good medicine. For more than 20 years, it has been a bumpy road. I found elements of prejudice, oppression, and racism in some quarters of the health state agency. It's not systematic or conspiracy against me, but rather individuals involved with my case have not been fair and made a misjudgment against me.
For example, those who were supposed to be the experts were not experts at all. Those who ruled against me were not my peers and were below my education and experience, particularly the review commissioner and the medical consultant. Most important, the attorneys who dealt with my case were learning medicine on the job. When I raised this issue, they turned against me. I have renamed the Dept. of Health and Social Service to the Dept. of Medical Politics and Oppressive Service.
This short introduction is to link those who are interested in knowing the facts and learning from this relationship by going through it. The process of investigating the complaints is horrible and complicated, and it is at the mercy of the individuals who handle the case, such as the administrative assistant, program manager who makes an assessment, in which lies personal prejudice, then goes to the investigator, then to a reviewing advisor and consulting board members, in which lies still prejudice, especially against somebody like me who is outspoken and stands up for what I believe to be medically sound.
I have always felt that if a complaint arrives and if it is serious enough, particularly if it deals with medical quality, the Quality Assurance Commission should refer the case to two experts from the same field of medicine. For example, in my case the issue had been management of chronic pain with opioid analgesics. The two experts should be in the same sitting who deal with chronic pain management. If both agree, after they review the case, then the charges will be issued; however, if one disagrees, the case should be sent to a third expert, who will decide whether to proceed with the charges or drop the case completely. At that moment, the lawyers will come in and present legal advice, but never at the beginning.
There should never be a newsletter issued by the Quality Assurance Commission about charges against any doctor. There should be a gag order that it would be printed in the newsletter after the signing of the agreed order or conviction. I have felt all along that the Quality Assurance Commission is being used by attorneys from the Attorney General's Office as an intimidating arm against practitioners. That fits very well with those attorneys who issue severe and unreasonable charges, so the plea bargaining starts by the attorneys who represent the doctors and the attorneys who represent the Quality Assurance Commission, such as those in charge of settlement. This process makes medical doctors extremely afraid and makes them practice defensive medicine, which is very expensive.
All the links to this website will demonstrate what I am talking about.
Since I am not a lawyer, but rather a writer involved in peace and international politics, it is of interest that I mention international events I witness at that time. My advice to doctors is never go alone without a lawyer present or go bare without malpractice insurance, which I had done because of special circumstances. All the website's exchanged letters, motions to dismiss, etc will comply with HIPAA and there won't be any reference to patients.
This site is currently under construction. More information will be added in the future.
For details about my political and international involvement, please visit my web site.