I received yet another letter, from yet another governing body, that my status as a physician was suspended. This time it was a retroactive suspension by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM).
And once again, I was told by a governing body that they had a hard time reaching me. They made 1 attempt to deliver a certified letter to my home address which I had forwarded to a friend’s house. But with certified letters the forwarding doesn’t happen and nobody else but me can sign for them.
At no point did the ABFM attempt to email me until 2 months went by – I received an email yesterday. All they did is scan the envelope and the letters inside and emailed it to me. It’s 2018 and I wasn’t reachable by the American Board of Family Medicine. Recruiters, spamming me with jobs, no problem. ABFM and the medical board of Oregon – insurmountable problem.
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Retroactive ABFM Suspension Letter
Should I have notified the ABFM about my license suspension in Oregon? I looked through the documents I had and didn’t see anything about it. My lawyer didn’t mention anything about it either.
I would have considered notifying them if I intended to keep my board certification with the ABFM but I switched to NBPAS over a year ago.
Because I didn’t have a license in August, the ABFM decided to retroactively suspend my board certification status. This makes no sense.
The big issue I have with this retroactive suspension is that the ABFM did not have to suspend my board certification because I still had a Washington license and still had a California license.
They didn’t ask me anything about the matter. They didn’t perform their own investigation. They pretty much put in 0 fucking effort other than writing that letter.
Criteria for ABFM Suspension
Retroactively suspending a board certification is intended as punishment. It’s punitive and serves no purpose whatsoever. I won’t be a better doctor because of it. Patients won’t be protected from my demonic practice methods.
The ABFM decided to forward me a 7-page guideline for professionalism which I have attached below.
ABFM Bullshit Guidelines 2018-7
The irony is that everything that’s in there, deals with shit like:
- commitment to serve others
- fairness, courtesy, respect towards patients
- contributing to the public good
- accepting responsibility for one’s own action
I met all the above and then some. I helped a patient obtain an EKG which she was putting off because she was unable to obtain one. Period. Done. End of story.
The Oregon medical board investigator who was assigned to me was just a terrible human being. I wouldn’t use the phrase piece of shit because I’ve taken some very satisfying shits in my life, but man, just a common turd. I totally tried to cooperate with him and told him where the “patient” worked – all he had to do was to go to her workplace. I didn’t give her name because I was afraid I was violating that patient’s (my colleague’s) privacy.
I would have hoped that my board certification entity would have at least inquired as to why my license was suspended for 30 days and I was forced to pay a fine of $5,000 for ordering an EKG. That’s not normal.
Talk to me, ask me questions, talk to the Oregon medical board, and then finally say “Sorry Dr. Mo, we still find that your actions were wrong and warrant a board certification suspension”. At least this way I got a fair process and some explanation.
Appealing the Decision
You have 20 days from the receipt of the ABFM decision to appeal to the credentialing committee.
I have no intention of appealing. They can take their certificate and shove it deep and far.
My ABFM certificate is up for renewal this year. Which means that I would have to retake the family medicine boards. Since I’m already board certified with NBPAS, I have no intention of renewing my board certification with the ABFM.
Interestingly, I have heard nothing from NBPAS about this issue. We’ll see what happens. Should I notify NBPAS? What do you guys think?
Purpose of the ABFM
I have been excessively harsh with the ABFM, I know. But I can’t have yet another governing body trying to micromanage and punish me. Maybe if I wasn’t burnt out from medicine I wouldn’t feel this way but I don’t have that luxury.
I was fully cooperative with the Oregon medical board. I admitted to my mistakes and I never committed any fraud. I didn’t hide anything. I didn’t steal anything.
I am comfortable being punished by the Oregon medical board, even though I don’t believe a 30-day license suspension was necessary. Nevertheless, I ordered an EKG on a person who wasn’t my patient – that’s a mistake and it should be appropriately handled.
For the ABFM to jump on the bandwagon and suspend my certification makes no sense. How about the DEA and UpToDate and my medical school all take actions as well?
At some point a physician needs to have someone on their side besides their lawyer. I disagree that it’s a “privilege” to be licensed in a particular state or that it’s a privilege to be board certified by an entity.
I am confused about the purpose of the ABMS which is the parent of the ABFM. Even if their intentions are good, their actions aren’t convincing. I will go out and create my own board certification entity called Deez Nutz, if I have to. It’s great that NBPAS is a solid option but I’m won’t be bullied anymore. Not by attendings, not by residency directors, not by employers, not by licensing bodies, and not by specialty boards. I have to draw the line somewhere.
My Public Profile
I searched for my public profile on their physician directory and the ABFM doesn’t even have the competence to enter my suspension in their database.
Why go through all that work of the ABFM suspension letter if you don’t even take proper action on it?
The reason the medical board suspended my license was to punish me. To teach me a lesson. To marr my record so that I would have a harder time in future getting a job. If they wanted to cooperate with me they could have. I admitted to everything I did wrong and genuinely would have never done the same shit moving forward.
They didn’t do it to make me a better clinician. At no point was that their objective. It wasn’t even their suggestion for me to take a professionalism course for physicians – that was my lawyer’s idea. They claim it was to protect the public.
Remember that I was pulled off of all my shifts at Kaiser Permanente when this happened. And once the dust settled on all this, every single telemedicine company terminated me off of their platforms.
Imagine I had partner and kids to support financially. Imagine I still had student loan debts. Imagine I was financially supporting my parents. Or, shit, imagine I emotionally identified with being a physician.
Instead I had been preparing for such an event for a while:
- all debt paid off ✔️
- minimal lifestyle expenses ✔️
- multiple sources of income ✔️
- disidentification with being a doctor ✔️
- strong investment portfolio for passive income ✔️
- various marketable skills ✔️