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Public Citizen releases database with names of 1,111 “Questionable Doctors” in Texas – most still practicing

The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen last week released new information about 1,111 physicians who have been disciplined by Texas’s state medical board and other agencies for incompetence, misprescribing drugs, sexual misconduct, criminal convictions, ethical lapses and other offenses. Most of the doctors were not required to stop practicing, even temporarily.
Public Citizen has been publishing national and regional editions of its Questionable Doctors database in book form for more than a decade, but now, for the first time, the database is available on the World Wide Web. The Questionable Doctors Online web site is www.questionabledoctors.org.

Consumers will be able to search the list of disciplined doctors for free. For $10, they can view and print detailed disciplinary reports on up to 10 individual doctors over a three-month period in any state listed. The web site contains information about doctors in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont. More states will be added throughout the year.

Public Citizen criticized the Texas Board of Medical Examiners’ poor record of disciplining Texas doctors. Examples of doctors who were disciplined but are currently allowed to continue practicing in Texas include:

•A doctor who admitted to and was convicted for four drive-by shootings of garages and automobiles belonging to a former business partner;
•A doctor who was arrested and pleaded guilty on charges stemming from writing prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors;
•A doctor whose surgical outpatient died after he administered an overdose of Ketalar and Valium, placing her under general anesthesia rather than the conscious sedation he intended;
•A doctor who settled a lawsuit alleging he fused the wrong level of a patient’s neck; and,
•A doctor who had sexual relations with four patients and admitted to a history of alcoholism.

“For many of the offenses commitUsing the information from the state and federal agencies, Public Citizen created a database containing the doctor’s name, degree, license number, date of birth, location, the disciplinary state or agency, the date of the disciplinary action, the nature of the discipline and available information about the case. Public Citizen asked all the state medical boards to provide information about court actions that may have overruled or changed previous disciplinary actions. Any disciplinary actions that were overturned by courts or for which litigation ended in the doctor’s favor were deleted from the database.