The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape

REPLAY: The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape


Negotiating The Increasingly Perilous Medical Licensing – Peer Review – Physician Health Program Landscape

Learn What You Can – And Must – Do To Protect Your Medical License

Physicians are under siege from a host of forces. Amongst the most career threatening and yet little known assault are those pertaining to the administrative medicolegal arena, i.e. medical licensing boards, physician health programs, and credentialing and peer review committees.

Together with my colleague Michael Langan MD, author of The Disrupted Physician blog (, we presented a groundbreaking informational webinar specifically covering this little understood area. 

Here’s the link to view the replay and download the handout:

The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape

We’ve guided scores of physicians through sham peer review proceedings; bogus board investigations of anonymously sourced complaints; unwarranted referrals to Physician Health Programs for allegations of impairment or wrongdoing; falsely being labeled a “disruptive physician;” and many other career-threatening challenges.

These are critically important issues which could derail your career and cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal struggle and even more in lost income and psychological distress. We’ve seen it first hand; we’ve  traveled the territory.

Incorrectly handling these or simply “handing them off to one’s lawyer” believing they’ll be dispensed with can be the death knell of your career. 

Is Your Medical License In Jeopardy?

Before you make another step in dealing with these agencies, we believe it’s vital that you learn what could be the difference between your successfully preserving your license and your being deprived of all that you’ve worked for in your career. In this very concise 30 minute webinar, we’re going to cover a lot of ground. 

I encourage you to pass the link around to colleagues who might be facing these struggles. Perhaps even especially with those who have already faced these challenges; we’re eager to learn from them about what works and what doesn’t. 

And yes, you can share with your attorney! We’re pleased to have advised multiple attorneys around the country in these complex matters that are unique to the healthcare arena. In fact, we’ve discovered that very few attorneys can sufficiently grasp these administrative challenges which are unique to the healthcare arena without knowledgeable guidance. And we can attest from abundant case wreckage, having an attorney who pretends to represent you without having gotten such guidance is like having a surgeon who’s never opened a belly before. It’s never going to be a pretty outcome.

Michael and I are staunch physician and patient advocates and want to ensure that our medical colleagues receive utmost fairness in these perilous dealings and, where indicated, are referred to the most appropriate, impartial and ethical programs to address any issues of legitimate concern with compassion and respect. We don’t want to see more physicians driven to despair and humiliation by these reckless agencies and be forced to helplessly witness their practices destroyed and their patients’ care needlessly and dangerously disrupted.

Don’t delay! Be sure to view with pen in hand – we’re confident you’ll come away with eyes opened and new ideas on how you might optimally approach these challenges.

Here’s the link to the replay and handout:

The Perilous Physician Licensing Landscape

And after yo’ve viewed it, please take a moment to leave a comment.


The Looming Fraud Case Against PHPs and Medical Boards

lab fraud $$

I wrote this essay in response to Michael Langan’s piece (reblogged on this site) on the crucial importance of diagnostic accuracy (6/5/2015)

Very pleased to see Michael’s explanation of diagnostic accuracy, especially in his coverage of the dangers of false positives.

While he covered it elsewhere in his blog, it bears highlighting that while a “false positive” in clinical medicine can lead to more refined testing before one begins on a costly treatment regimen, a “false positive” in forensic medicine can lead not only to loss of one’s right to practice but in fact to one’s very freedom. And, since the very test that is yielding the false positive is explicitly known to produce such, the likelihood that more people are going to be falsely deprived of their civil rights and their fundamental liberty is concomitantly higher. PHPs and Medical Boards know this and have been complicit with this scam.

This would be bad enough even if considered alone. But in the white collar licensed professions like medicine, the use of such a test occurs in a setting where the deprivation of the protections afforded by due process is routine. In other words, if the test comes back positive – even though it’s a false positive – you’re guilty until proven innocent. And you’ve got to spend a fortune to prove your innocence while you’re removed from your practice, deprived of making a living, and coerced into a “preferred program” for extended treatment and 5 years of “monitoring” – ironically using the very same test that falsely established your diagnosis! And it will take years to extract yourself from such a bureaucratic entanglement. One thing is certain – you will not come out of this mauling intact. You will be like the increasing numbers of unfortunates who have been set up by a deeply broken judicial system, framed on false evidence, and sent to prison.

Astoundingly, some Physician Health Programs (PHPs and PHSs and congeners) are using an alcohol usage screening test (the EtG amongst others) that they got approved as a LDT – a laboratory developed test (see elsewhere on his blog). That LDT bypassed the FDA process which requires rigorous testing to establish its sensitivity and specificity, in other words to prevent a test from being introduced into the market which yields too many false positives.

But here’s the more amazing thing – SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (a division, I believe, of DHHS), actually issued two explicit alerts in both 2006 and 2012 specifically advising against these tests’ usage in the forensic environment. The PHP enterprise is explicitly a forensic enterprise as, by definition of their role, they are conducting “fitness-for-duty” forensic diagnostic psychiatric evaluations on behalf of a professional (here, the medical) licensing board.

Stop Fraudulent Lab Testing!
Stop Fraudulent Lab Testing!

The conclusions are obvious. PHPs are knowingly using tests which produce false positives to incriminate physicians and compel them to enter into their “preferred network” of costly evaluation and lengthy 3 month treatment programs. Ad they are under state protection in doing so. And the medical licensing boards with which they are affiliated are fully complicit in this crime.

I am convinced this will turn out to be a scandal equivalent in magnitude to the Annie Dookhan falsified evidence case and the forensic fraud committed by the FBI’s hair and fiber analysis forensic lab (uncovered by FBI whistleblower Fred Whitehurst) and the compounding pharmacy contamination scandal.

Do you realize how many physicians (and many other medical professionals’) careers have been sabotaged by this fraud? Do you realize how many other professionals are soon going to be subjected to similar “professionals health / employee assistance” programs testing abuses? And then marched into their licensing boards for a kangaroo court? If physicians and other professionals don’t wake up and demand accountability, especially given the worsening prognosis for being provided due process in responding to such contrived findings, it’s going to be too late. Their careers, as unbelievable as it may seem, will be wiped out.

In a separate essay, I’ll write about the perverse incentives that keep such a system embedded. For now: it feeds the legal “professional license defense” industry; it makes it look like the medical licensing board and their legal department and investigators are “protecting the public;” it let’s PHPs keep their lucrative referral pipeline of falsely diagnosed docs flowing to their “preferred programs,” all of which are FSPHP members; and it creates an exceedingly fine profit potential for the drug testing labs, a select number of which the member PHPs also have “preferred relationships” with. (Some treatment programs actually own their own labs!).

NC Auditor Reveals Major Problems with ALL NC Licensing Boards

Now, don’t let this get you too unsettled.

Remember that S. Korean ferry disaster that occurred because there was lax (non-existent – and probably bribed) oversight of the safety operations of the ferry’s capacity? Same thing exists here in NC with every one of its licensing boards.

The VERY SAME thing. The situation is so bad that even the Legislature and the Attorney General can’t even agree on how many boards and commissions there are – so, does that give you an idea of oversight? Is ANYONE minding the minders?

The intrepid auditor’s office, under the direction of Ms. Beth Wood, conducted a financial audit of all state boards and commissions at the behest of the NC Legislature’s Program Evaluation Oversight Committee. What was found will shock you, especially if you’re a licensee.

NC Auditor report on Licensing Boards

If one were to read between the lines, it would say that every one of these licensing boards is a menace to society and a danger to licensed professionals under their jurisdiction. Why? Because they operate like tin-pot dictatorships, claiming their finances are independent of the state treasury, and have utterly no financial or procedural oversight or accountability.

Hopefully that will be changing with Auditor Wood’s analysis. (And Bravo! to her and her investigative teams for having the chutzpah to dare to challenge the powers-that-be! I would imagine she’s taken quite a bit of heat from the Governor, the AG, the legislature and especially the medical board. Who in the world do they report to? They, and the NC Medical Society and NCPHP’s own Board of Directors were explicitly charged with such oversight of NCPHP and were documented to have failed entirely in executing this vital role.)

Meanwhile, licensees and citizens, brace yourself for complete anarchy. There is no higher authority to which to appeal, apart from the biased and deranged administrative judicial courts who are documented to have violated due process nearly invariably in favor the the licensing board to which it is attached. If you’re a citizen, you’re not protected from inept practitioners. If you’re a licensed professional, you could easily be singled out as a “problem” at someone’s whim (“s/he’s a problem – get rid of them”) and have your career annihilated – and go bankrupt in the process using “professional license defense” lawyers who know full well the entire process is rigged.

And there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. Because, through now, the Governor, the Attorney General and the legislature have all been presuming that someone’s at the helm. It’s like a three stooges skit, one pointing at the other. And that all the complaints they’ve been getting are just a bunch of whiners, because … well, because the system works, doesn’t it? Well, … yes … until it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t … it’s a disaster.