Maryland Board of Physicians: corruption or business as usual
Imagine a State administrative authority that would spend hundreds of thousands of your hard earned tax dollars to chase a physician through the “judicial system for over a decade for paper compliance issues concerning five medical records, then you are imagining the Maryland Board of Physicians. A vindictive non-transparent process by this board was initiated on or about June of 2002 that culminated in a soviet style review with fake witnesses, suppression of data, false standards of care and a legal system starving to bring physicians to their knees culminated in a medical license revocation affecting four thousand patients. In the time it takes to sign a cease practice order these patients were bereft of their physician, many on class four diet pharmaceuticals, forcing this writer to abandon them in a single afternoon. Maryland government has a long history of corruption, now it has permeated the Board of Physicians. Lying and deception are their weapons of choice enabled by an Appellate Court system friendly to their every request. Maryland physicians face a very difficult road in the State’s judicial system even when the facts are in their favor. The case of this writer is especially noteworthy for the vicious way it was instituted and the illicit manner in which it was carried out. Maryland Board of Physicians obstructed this writer from defending himself at the Office of Administrative Hearings. Including but not limited to inhibiting the presentation of defendant expert witnesses, blocking the inclusion of exculpatory evidence and stifling the defendant’s presentation by the most extraordinary means possible. The state presented two physician witnesses. One was quickly discredited by the judge and the other witness was diminished by his own words. Utilization of the diet pharmaceutical Phentermine was the core issue. Maryland has an unusual standard to allow witnesses to be considered experts in a subject before a judicial panel. Dr. Ira Kaplan was allowed to testify as an expert on the drug Phentermine even though he had minimal exposure to the drug in his practice (claimed he used less than five times), had no specific education in the drug, never wrote any papers on the subject and never taught anyone on its structure or function. This was the only person the Maryland Board of Physicians would rely on this revoke a medical license. The Court never placed him under oath and he was free to lie and deceive per his coaching from the Board’s attorney. Administrative judges usually are partial to state boards, not in this case. Though two physicians must agree that a fellow physician was acting outside the standard of care, the state witnesses had opposing views. Under that scenario a third physician by “law” must reconcile the differences between them, no other doctor was brought into the case. Charges should never have been brought because of this conflict. The Administrative judge to his credit noted the anomalies in this case and found in the most part for this physician. Fake standards of care, specious expert witnesses and a dazzling display of legal tricks were utilized to stop this physician from practicing. Maryland Board of Physician’s politically appointed board, 40% of whom are not physicians out its 21 members, reversed the decision. The stench of a vindictive act was all over their findings because Board membership was acting outside their mandate and the law to remove a legitimately licensed physician from practice (see Maryland Legislature Report November 2011 concerning the Board’s illicit activities). A Harford County Circuit Court Judge questioned the Board’s activities in this case and found for this writer reversing the revocation. The Board’s last minute appeal to the Appellate division is one of the most interesting aspects of this case.
Court of Special Appeals’ judges work as a triad that is in groups of three. Legal briefs are submitted by both sides in regards to a deficit in the findings of a lower Court perceived by either party. New information is not supposed to be entered except for clarification purposes. In this case the Board was the entity who was appealing the opinion of the lower court. The Lawyers representing the Board from the Attorney General’s Office deliberately obfuscated the evidence they presented, in two telephone size volumes. Designed to confuse the most initiated mind in the law, the Board was successful in that regard. Earlier reference to three physician mode of review established by law in 2003 was completely abrogated by the triad. Instead they legislated from the bench allowing only one reviewer’s word to be sufficient to establish a basis for a medical license revocation. Precedent also established in this case allows any physician to represent themselves as a specialist even if they have only read an article on the subject they are to testify, as did Dr. Ira Kaplan. Worse, the court disregarded dozens of exculpatory items to give the board a win with an opinion so biased that Stalin would be smiling. The author now faces a mandate from this court to relinquish his licensed that is based on nebulous facts from a rogue board run end to end by attorneys. Physicians in Maryland must face a completely corrupt review process and in the end spend themselves into oblivion to defend charges before a Court system that is extremely biased against them. This case is not unique, yet its stench permeates the very halls where it originated. Physicians in the named university hospitals get a pass by the Board when the tides turn against them. It will be interesting to follow the medical board’s actions against the physicians who were hammered in two recent malpractice cases found for the plaintiffs, one payout is potentially for more than fifty million. The Maryland Legislature must become involved in the Board of Physician’s processes because this administrative entity is being used to silence physicians who are outspoken and not on the politically correct side of the argument. Mark Davis MD, President of Healthnets Review Services. Look for the national media to follow concerning this case.