Untimely Deaths Associated with NCMB Actions:
At first glance, it may seem difficult to envision a health care provider committing suicide over an issue with a regulatory body. When consideration is given to the absolute lack of basic civil & constitutional rights including due process however, it begins to make sense. Add to that the humiliation, financial and other forms of devastation, the fact that NOBODY believes that such action is possible in the absence of serious wrongdoing, reviewing again that hundreds of thousands of dollars can be fruitlessly thrown away on legal fees with attorneys in collusion with the NCMB. Suddenly, it’s not so far-fetched.
-Practitioners whose patients have died due to negligence get a “Letter of Concern”. Other than that, the NCMB Legal Department is responsible for more deaths than all of the allegedly “impaired” providers who have been persecuted, practitioners who have not harmed a single patient!
These are not all of the deaths, only those found through a review of the public records of the NCMB. No NCPHP records are available for review. No private NCMB records are available for review.
There are also undisclosed patient deaths. We know that they exist due to conversations with disciplined psychiatrists who have related details of patients who were unstable, had a therapeutic relationship with the disciplined provider who suddenly disappeared from practice without any discussion, documentation or reason. There have been numerous patients who have committed suicide related to the sudden & mysterious disappearance of their trusted doctor.
None of these untimely deaths included practitioners who were in the NCMS; our prayers go out to them and their families.
8/2006 Patient “A” chest pain, PA examined patient, revealed anxiety, elevated diastolic, heart rate irregular, new murmur, EKG appeared normal, GI medication prescribed, 8/8/06 F/U exam by PA with hypertension and abdominal tenderness, 3 hours later spouse spoke to PA due to continued pain. PA intended to call in pain medications, patient died the next day of MI. Concern from NCMB Re; inadequate supervision
4/7/11 Public Letter of Concern; Galveston Hotel suicide; found 8/24/11. The information above came from the NCMB website. As with all of the NCMB website material, especially Consent Orders, the truth in the above story must be seriously questioned.
Dr. Kotzen was an older gentleman, a neurosurgeon with chronic medical issues. He refused to take any of his chronic medications during the Board’s protracted course of action according to his widow who attributes his death to the NCMB.
Professor Pediatrics UNC Suicide @ 71 yo 2/2011
2009 Consent Order; Permanent inactive status. Chapel Hill treated patients “A”-“E” from 1987-2006 for a variety of conditions including learning and developmental difficulties. These were all pediatric patients at the time in NC. He conducted genital examinations outside of the presence of a chaperone, parent, or guardian. These were neither documented nor medically indicated. Physician states that such examinations can reveal medical information.
It should be noted that genital examinations are essential in developing children, especially those with developmental disorders and that they are often done without chaperones, especially during the earlier phases of his career. He had been subjected to intense media scrutiny according to his widow, went into the backyard and never came back.
Martha Miles MD (Reviewed death with husband who prefers anonymity)
Dr. Miles was a fifty one year old physician who died after signing a consent order for an indefinite suspension by the NCMB after she was caught prescribing medications to family members and other prescriptions in what the NCMB thought was an “inappropriate manner”.
It should be noted that in the practice of medicine, it is not uncommon for physicians to take different approaches to therapy. The Board can use different “reviewers” until they receive the report that they are looking for regarding an individual physician.
2009 Suicide 33 year old.
4/3/09 ran into interstate traffic the next day in front of a large truck, which he didn’t try to avoid, so that it hit and killed him.
*The deaths above are deaths of physicians. There have been psychiatrists who have been taken out of practice by the NCMB who have then lost patients due to suicides of those patients. When a psychiatric patient develops trust and rapport with their doctor/psychiatrist, it’s a very sacred bond. Doctors are NOT replaceable “modules” that can be “swapped out” at will without further consequence.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know how many other suicides and deaths have cascaded from the actions of the NCMB.
What a shameful irony that the NCMB, whose mission statement is to protect the citizens of North Carolina and it’s legal department have been responsible for more deaths of the general populace in North Carolina than the allegedly “impaired” physicians—none of whom were responsible for a death, much less a bad patient outcome!
Role of the NCPHP and the Epidemic of Physician Suicides;
The North Carolina Physicians Health Program is allegedly to be an advocate for physicians. Although the audit showed numerous deficiencies, the NCPHP still refuses to perform their function. Numerous cases each year occur in which physicians identified by the NCMB sign “Consent Orders” regarding substance abuse/mental health issues. Frequently these physicians are not referred to the NCPHP in violation of North Carolina General Statutes § 90-14. Disciplinary Authority (b); The Board shall refer to the North Carolina Physicians Health Program all licensees whose health and effectiveness have been significantly impaired by alcohol, drug addiction or mental illness. Both the NCMB & NCPHP are responsible for this oversight. When physicians ARE referred to the NCPHP however, their nightmare is far from over. The dirty little secret is that the most common “advocacy” of the NCPHP is to tell the targeted physician to “just do as you’re told”. Many physicians are coerced into signing one-sided “contracts” whereby the physician meets every criteria only to be denied any form of advocacy other than the above. This is professional misconduct at it’s highest form! The physicians in the NCPHP are derelict in their duty to assist and advocate. Instead, they collude with the attorneys of the Board in conspiracy after conspiracy against each targeted physician.
Lack of referral to the NCPHP probably has a perversely protective affect however. Physician suicides are a major problem among those with Medical Board & PHP issues across the US. It’s a carefully hidden epidemic. More and more physicians are recognizing the damages done by the current state of PHP's. Others are creating the means for physicians to reach out to one another to prevent suicides often triggered by these powerful entities. One can only wonder how much more physician blood must be spilled in this state before the authorities step in to stop the slaughter and loss of professional talent.
There seems to be a “sea change” in terms of the attitude of the profession as to the function, efficacy & integrity of PHP’s in general.
As bad as things are with the NCPHP, one can take little comfort with the realization that PHP's across the US are corrupt, physicians lives are being ruined and lost on a disturbingly "routine" basis.