Does Georgetown Hospital Run the DC Medical Board?

(Washington, DC, DC LegalTruth Investigation, September 27, 2010): Georgetown University Medical Center/Medstar's Overwhelming Influence on the DC Medical Board. DC residents deserve a Medical Board without conflicts of interests. Background: In the summer of 2009, the Washington DC Medical Board considered complaints about the practice of medicine by neurologist Michael H. Pfeiffer and another complaint against hematologist/oncologist Scott Myers. Pfeiffer had applied for his first license to practice medicine in Washington DC. His medical license request remained unapproved and pending for over a year because Pfeiffer’ did not provide medical school transcripts to evidence his qualifications to practice medicine. Pfeiffer, who came to the USA from overseas, allegedly received his medical training in a foreign medical school. During the 2007-2008 year covered by the complaint for unlicensed practice, Georgetown University Hospital allowed him to practice medicine on real patients without a license as a Neurology Fellow. Georgetown University Hospital is a Medstar Health facility. In the other complaint, Myers was accused of substandard practice of medicine. He was accused of failing to adequately investigate the cause of a child's severe chronic "neutropenia." (low immunity). Instead of investigating the possible causes thoroughly, he concluded early on -- before having done necessary tests -- the neutropenia was "benign." Unexplainably he did not do tests that would have uncovered possible causes like drugs or other toxins. As a result, the child has suffered with severe chronic neutropenia for over two years of an undetermined cause. Pediatric hematology experts in the specialty field of hematology have severely questioned Dr. Myers failure to test to determine the neutropenia's true cause and his failure to give the child medication to boost her immunity. Dr. Myers appears to lack the knowledge to diagnose the cause. • Even though Myers failed to properly investigate and treat the child's neutropenia at Georgetown University Hospital, no action was taken by the Board or Georgetown Hospital. DC has had a history of medical errors, deaths and others maimed reported in its hospitals DC Hospitals (Bill Myers Article on DC Dept of Health Report, DC Examiner, Jan 13 and 15, 2009) Not surprisingly with the conflicts of interests, the DC Medical Board has had a history of lax enforcement of physician licensing requirements, as documented by an April 11, 2005 Washington Post Article showing that its reluctance to enforce against colleagues. Not surprising, Washington DC ranks lowest of all 50 states for hospital quality and patient satisfaction. When asked to reconsider in light of the conflicts of interest, the DC Medical Board not only allowed Medstar's Dr. Lynch to participate in the deliberations of these Medstar physicians, Dr. Lynch made the motions to close the investigations without substantive reconsideration.

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These raise important questions for the safety of the public and need to be answered. How can the Medical Board allow a member to participate in the deliberations involving practice at a hospital group with which that Member is associated? Aren’t hospitals responsible to assure all who practice medicine are licensed at all times, before allowing them to care for patients, submit prescriptions, insurance and Medicare claims?

How can Georgetown University Hospital knowingly allow a physician to fail to comply with basic medical standards for One of the members of the Washington DC Medical Board is testing and treatment of a potentially fatal disease? What does Dr. John J. Lynch. Dr. John J. Lynch is on the MedStar Re- that say about the quality controls of Georgetown Hospital? search Institute-Georgetown University Oncology (IRB) Institutional Research Board Membership List. Dr. Finelli How was Pfeiffer, who attended a foreign medical school, able also is a member of the Board, who was also on the to obtain a medical license in Virginia, after he was unable to Washington Hospital Center Board -- affiliated with Medstar demonstrate with valid transcripts that he completed the mediand, in turn, Georgetown. cal educational requirements for the DC Medical Board? • When the Board considered how to proceed, the minutes reported that Dr. Lynch (Medstar) made the motion to close the case against Pfeiffer, and Dr. Finelli (Medstar) made the motion to close the investigation against Dr. Myers. . Even though Pfeiffer had no medical license (which is required by statute) to practice at the time, the DC Board of Medicine issued no reprimand or charge against Pfeiffer. Why is Pfeiffer allowed to now practice in Washington DC --without a DC license -- at the DC Veterans Administration hospital. Don't our vets deserve properly vetted physicians? The DC LegalTruth continues to get to the bottom of this (and other) DC government mysteries. What do you think is going on with the DC Medical Board, Dr. Pfeiffer, and/or Dr. Myers? Leave your comments and suggestions.

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