How Do Rapist Doctors Regain a Medical License? Simple. Cross the State Line and Start Over

Dr William  Dando

Dr William Dando

When Doctor William Dando moved to Maryland to jump-start his career after a patient-rape conviction, he knew exactly how to dodge his criminal past in Florida: he lied on his application. He said he got a little drunk one night and beat somebody up. As a physician he was well aware that the Maryland state medical board – top-heavy as boards happen to be with fellow physicians – would give his paperwork little more than a cursory glance. Fortunately for him, he was not a realtor or a truck driver or nurse, pilot, cabby or cook. New-hires in the real world are actually scrutinized.  Doctors are not. There would be no criminal background check; no awareness that he had done something serious enough to spend 4 years in state prison. And Dando knew it.

Now, it wasn’t as though the Maryland Board of Physicians was honestly blindsided by this sneaky sick twist. Their counterparts in Georgia had already alerted them that Dando was not welcome in their state. And medical authorities in Florida had notified the same Maryland colleagues of this character’s rape conviction in their state as far back as 2003. Neither warning prompted further examination by the Board. They licensed the guy. Boys will be boys, you know? Like most all state boards, Maryland had no burning incentive to verify criminal histories. They accept whatever doctors tell them about their past hijinks and do not bother with routine background checks – checks which are the norm pretty much everywhere else on the planet. And again, like most other state medical boards, Maryland is not particularly interested in creating a system for recognizing patterns of physician misbehavior. So they either ignore it or hide it, and hope nobody notices.

Of course it’s hard for people not to notice a one-man crime wave like daffy doc Dando. Not long after he got settled in again in Baltimore County, he managed to kill a patient. According to attorney Jay Miller, the family of Grace Elliott has just agreed to a civil lawsuit settlement with Doctor William Dando. This, as the end result of a case stemming from Elliott’s death from a physician-caused, prescription drug overdose in 2010. The terms of the lawsuit and dollar amount are confidential.

Here’s more:

Documentation: Download here (PDF)

  • State: Maryland
  • Other  (6/12/2014)
  • Action Taken: Summary Suspension
  • Summary: Please reference the following Document
  • Documentation: Download here (PDF)
  • State: Maryland
  • Other  (6/5/2014)
  • Action Taken: Summary Suspension
  • Summary: Please reference the following Document
  • Documentation: Download here (PDF)
  • State: Maryland
  • Substandard Care, Incompetence or Negligence  (2/7/2013)
  • Action Taken: Probation Terminated (Ended)
  • Summary: Dr. William Thomas Dando; License # D50835; NATURE OF COMPLAINT: The physician has complied with the terms and conditions of the 04-28-2010 Consent Order. ACTION TAKEN: The Maryland Board of Physicians terminated the probationary terms and conditions imposed by the 04-28-2010 Consent Order.
  • State: Maryland

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S.A. Native commented:

“For the most part, state medical boards do a woefully inadequate job of protecting women from sexual misconduct in the exam room. Dr. Dando is just one example that demonstrates that the place where a woman is most likely to encounter a rapist is at her doctor’s office.”

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Doctor/Patient Trust? Don’t “Assume” Anything

State medical boards need to stop paying lip service to “public safety.” Patient rights to safe and ethical care should trump a wayward doctor’s right to earn a living.

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The unspoken pact any patient holds with a medical practitioner is faith.  And when that faith is shattered by physician misbehavior, the patient certainly has a right to expect that medical and legal authority  – that is, law enforcement, hospital administrations and state medical boards – will toe the ethical line and mete out appropriate discipline. But the ugly reality is that in the United States, discipline for doctor misconduct is a rarified commodity. In hundreds of thousands of cases, year after year, appropriate response is simply non-existent, or often far too little too late.

Consider two of a thousand cases we could name::

Dr Leonard Joachim

Dr Leonard Joachim, St. George University School of Medicine, Grenada

On May 13 of this year, the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners finally pulled up their adult pants long enough to revoke the medical license of a 60-year-old criminal doctor named Leonard Joachim. This particular MD, who plied his trade in the city of Wayne, had already confessed on two different occasions to illegal sexual contact with patients. The second incident happened less than 8 weeks after he faced the state board to acknowledge that he would – from that point forward – be required to have a chaperone present when he examined women. In other words, health authorities believed that a predator physician undressing patients for money was fine, as long as the randy rampallian had a babysitter.

Not that they hadn’t heard it all before.

Over the course of Joachim’s medical career, the state board already knew of a least four other complaints of sexual misbehavior, and they had taken impotent action on three of the cases. He admitted guilt on two of them as far back as 1995.

So while last week’s New Jersey board decision was good news for the public, it is impossible not be appalled by the length of time this miscreant was allowed to continue his fun and games in the first place.

Meanwhile in the city of Teaneck, we have a dermatologist by the name of Doctor Gangaram Ragi, age 62, who used his clinic, the Advanced Laser & Skin Cancer Center, for his particular brand of reindeer games.

Dr Gangaram Ragi

Dr Gangaram Ragi, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal

Ragi – like Joachim – was allowed by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to dodge criminal charges of numerous sexual assault cases. The D.A. instead slapped his wrist with what is known as a Pretrial Intervention Program. And when he molested yet another patient, they sent him back again. That’s like sending a bratty street urchin to study hall. The State Medical Board knew full well Ragi could not be trusted in the presence of female patients. Did they revoke his license? Of course not. They told him he could not treat women anymore.

We consider it mental midgetry to allow a criminal like Joachim to retain his medical license for 20 years after he confessed to sexual criminal misconduct and showed a pattern to continue.

It is equally preposterous that a state medical board might acknowledge that an MD has a female patient predator history, and then inanely allow him to practice medicine.  Allowing any physician to sidestep criminal prosecution after being accused by numerous patients of sexual assault. is ludicrous.

All patients need to be able to trust doctors. Society has a right to rest assured that when doctor-patient trust has been broken, there are cogent, consistent, mechanisms in place to protect us. The fact that physicians are held to the lowest standards of discipline in society is contemptible.

Pity, but this is an American reality.

Here’s more:

http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime-and-courts/wayne-doctor-admits-to-sexually-assaulting-patient-1.637819

http://www.northjersey.com/news/questions-linger-in-case-of-teaneck-doctor-accused-of-groping-patients-1.1295566

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S.A. Native commented:

“Too many times, doctors who abuse women throughout their careers are, if they are caught, simply allowed to fade away into retirement without any consequences for their actions.”

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Criminal Physician Case Update: Illinois Family Practitioner Gets Prison Term

Dr Edward J. McMenamin

Dr Edward J. McMenamin

In a case we covered March 16, a Downers Grove MD who faced a minimum of 6 years for possessing and disseminating child pornography, has been sentenced to 8 years in state prison by a DuPage County court.

Doctor Edward J. McMenamin, age 68, was initially charged with 17 counts of possessing and mailing illicit juvenile images when he was taken into custody last May outside his home. He was held pending $500,000 bail.

McMenamin, a family medicine practitioner for 35 years in Downers Grove, was arrested last year after authorities executed a search warrant and discovered numerous computer images of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to one count of disseminating the material, and could have gotten 30 years in prison.

Before sentencing, McMenamin read a statement to Judge Liam Brennan, saying that after his second marriage ended 10 years prior, he became an alcoholic and developed a morbid fascination with child pornography.

“I became a deplorable Jekyll and Hyde,” Edward McMenamin said, recounting a professional descent that ended Friday with a DuPage County judge sentencing him to 8 years in prison. He was Chairman of the Department of Family Practice at Good Samaritan Hospital.

“The court is painfully aware that every time child pornography is viewed or disseminated, the child victim is re-victimized,” Brennan said.

Here’s another view of the case:

http://voices.suntimes.com/news/breaking-news/500k-bond-for-suburban-doctor-facing-child-porn-charges/

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Daffy Doctors: How Do You Suppose They Get That Way??

Well, here’s a hint. Take a peak behind the curtain:

Just sayin’ . . . .

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Reader “Mark’ commented:

“((Cringe)) Man, that was hard to watch. Not so much for me, but for the embarrassment I felt for these 5. I though good judgment was a requirement to getting into med school, guess not.”

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Despicable Doctor Redux: Two Years Ago This Week . . . .

Dr Scott Dodd Anderson

Dr Scott Dodd Anderson

Sacramento California MD Found Guilty on 6 Counts of Sex Abuse

The trial of the Sacramento physician accused of sexually assaulting his patients ended in a guilty verdict two years ago this week. Of the 22 felony accusations made by the prosecution initially, including rape and sodomy, the wayward doctor was found guilty of six.

Deputy District Attorney Laura West convinced a Superior Court jury that Doctor Scott Dodd Anderson violated his patients’ rights while he performed worker’s compensation assessments at the U.S. Health Works clinic located on Folsom Boulevard.

During the trial the adult female victims testified that Anderson, age 64, would instruct them to bend over the exam table, where he would then “massage their inner thighs and the area between their legs.” Four different women described various incidents of the doctor pushing his groin against them and/or inappropriately fondling them. The incidents occurred between 2008-2009.

One prosecution witness was an investigator who testified that the details of the reported assaults were very similar. He said the victims had no way of knowing the details of each other’s complaints.

Anderson’s attorney, Patrick Hanly, argued that the “touching” did not go beyond what would be expected for normal medical treatment. He said the physical contact was misinterpreted.

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Case Update:

(July 12, 2013)

Doctor Scott Dodd Anderson was sentenced today to one year in county jail to be followed by five years probation, as the result of convictions on 6 counts of sexually assaulting patients at a workers’ compensation clinic. The judge ordered that he also register as a sex offender.

Anderson, age 64, was fired from U.S. HealthWorks four years ago as a result of the investigation.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene  Balonon sentenced Anderson after the guilty verdicts were read on May 23. Jurors found the doctor guilty on three felony counts of engaging in sexual contact and three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery on two female patients.

Anderson had initially been charged with rape; forced oral sex, sodomy and penetration by force, in an original 41-count complaint that involved five alleged victims.

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Another Word for Mass Murderers? Try Wayward Drug Companies

Let's all stay cozy with the drug cartels. The funeral biz is lovin' it

Let’s all stay cozy with the drug cartels. The funeral biz is lovin’ it

“NECC’s drugs were sent out to 3,000 hospitals and clinics. These meds were injected into 14,000 patients.” (An NECC drug salesman told ’60 Minutes’)

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Key players at New England Compounding Center:

  • Barry Cadden, Company President, Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Glenn A Chin, Head Pharmacist, Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Lisa Cadden Conigliaro, co-founder, Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Douglas Conigliaro, MD
  • Carla Conigliaro, Registered Nurse
  • Gregory Conigliaro, businessman

_____________

Want to know a terrific way to sell drugs? Well, if you happen to be in the legal drug biz – hanging out at medical “trade shows” will certainly do the trick. Countless thousands of these gaudy gatherings pop up each year at hotels nationwide. In our own enclave of Palm Springs the resorts clamor over each other for the chance to host these so-called health care seminars. Makes ’em feel warm and fuzzy and, well, the sound of the cash registers ringing in the bars is music to the ears.

Our topic today is one particular trade show – one that happened on September 24, 2010, at the Embassy Suites in Franklin, Tennessee. That was the day a particular nurse – Debra Schamberg – took a business card from a particular drug sales fellow – John Notarianni. And that simple handoff of a piece of paper set into motion a domino effect that would torture and kill an appalling number of citizens. The end result was a silent homicide spree spanning states from Tennessee to North Carolina, Michigan and beyond.

NECC drug scheme culprits, according to the U.S. Justice Department

NECC drug scheme culprits, according to the U.S. Justice Department

The show itself was the Freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s annual meeting. Among the countless characters wandering the lobby was Notarianni, a drug rep for a company called the New England Compounding Center. When he bumped into Debra Schamberg, the clinical director of St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in Nashville, he did what competent sales people do: he pitched his company. And because nurse Schamberg’s clinic injected thousands of patients with steroids for back and neck pain, she was immediately interested in Notarianni’s spiel that they had a better product.

Unfortunately, Notarianni’s company was not an honest and ethical drug supplier. Not even close. This seemingly professional outfit in a Massachusetts neighborhood was raking in millions by ignoring the law; faking records and cutting corners. Totally unaware, nurse Schamberg was performing the same scary ritual with a poisonous reptile (not the salesman this time. The Company) that so many other medical professionals do. She had no way of knowing that NECC was in the process of perpetrating one of the more murderous corporate crimes in American history. They were churning out contaminated drug mixtures that would infect many, many people with fungal meningitis. All they needed was a few more, you know, distributors.

(It is important to note that neither John Notarianni nor Debra Schamberg are suspects in any crime whatsoever. Federal investigators believe they are simply unwitting pawns in a rotten, multimillion-dollar drug scam by others) 

So when the St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center – at the urging of nurse Schamberg – began ordering the injectable drug methylprednisolone acetate for pain management a few months later, the staff at the clinic had no reason to believe that NECC was breaking any laws. “Compounding” companies are not allowed to market drugs in large volumes to anybody; they are merely licensed to fill small, individual prescriptions. NECC was in fact performing drug “manufacturing” while being only casually overseen by regulators as a “pharmacy.” A medical clinic would only know this if they did 30 minutes of internet research on their drug suppliers. Not likely.

So NECC started shipping large volumes of drugs to clinics with no patient prescription documented – a critical requirement that “pharmacies” must do. Knowing they could step into deep governmental doo-doo over this, they advised their client clinics and hospitals to “attach names” to every order. That way, if the snoopy feds decided to audit them at all, every dose would be linked to a patient and appear legit. Pretty cool.

NECC President Barry Cadden

NECC President Barry Cadden

Investigators would eventually find this curious entry, as they dug deeper into the case. The president at NECC was Barry Cadden. And as far back as September, 2010, he sent the following email to his national sales manager, Robert A.Ronzio:

“We must connect patients to the dosage forms at some point in the process to prove that we are not a [manufacturer],” Cadden wrote. “They can follow up each month with a roster of actual patients and we can back-fill.”

Uh, couple of challenges here, Barry. Detailing patient names from clinics after drugs are injected takes more time than the clinic staff happen to have.

And then there’s that pesky little matter of it being totally illegal.

But since when does legality become a serious hurdle for a drug cartel?

So evading the dumb prescription requirement got a little goofy among medical professionals nationwide. The parties involved partied on, creating make-believe patient names on the order documents to fake out the auditors. “Hugh Jass” was a favorite. So was “Calvin Klein.” “Big-Baby Jesus” was noted as a patient in Texas. We kind of like it when college-educated health care experts fake medical charts with names like “Coco Puff,” “Squeaky Wheel” and “Filet O’Fish.” Getting rich on other people’s pain is far too serious. Show a little humor, for Godsakes.

Glenn Adam Chin

Glenn Adam Chin, Pharmacist

While all that fun was going on at trusted medical facilities, back in Massachusetts NECCs head pharmacist, Glenn Adam Chin, age 46, was having a merry time, cooking up some daffy drug mixtures in what drug cartels like to call the “clean room.” Chin was prepping a three-gallon batch of the injectable steroid methylprednisolone acetate, labeled lot number 05212012@68. U.S. sterilization protocol mandated that drug compounds be exposed to high-pressure steam in an autoclave for at least 20 minutes. But cheater-Chin was no dummy: he knew that if he only steamed the drugs for15 minutes, his cartel could churn out 20 more batches a week. More drug sales means more money. Putting patients’ lives at risk was the last thing on his mind.

Now Chin was indeed a highly educated pharmacist. He was well aware that shorting the steaming time was dangerous. Their own air sampling tests had been finding contamination in the “clean room” for months. Ho-hum. While many of America’s clinics were faking patient names, their drug supplier was faking sterile drug reports. Cutting corners in healthcare is nothing if not consistent.

So over a two-month timespan in the summer of 2012, 6,500 vials of injectable steroids were sent out to America’s clinics from Chin’s nifty lab, 500 of which went to St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center. Some of those little vials carried a lethal fungus.

One month later Thomas Rybinski, a 56-year-old mechanic, walked into Nashville’s St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center. He had chronic low back pain and needed a steroid injection. So a doctor did what he’d done a thousand times: he pushed a needle with a syringe into a small bottle of liquid steroid and then delicately inserted the needle into Rybinski’s back, near his vertebrae. As the doctor slowly pressed down on the plunger, he had no way of knowing that he had just guaranteed the death of his patient, by injecting a microscopic fungus that had been floating unseen inside the bottle.

On September 17, 2012 a patient named Eddie Lovelace died. Unknown to his doctors, he had been killed by fungal meningitis. He would become known as Homicide Victim #1 in the federal case against NECC.

By late September, Tennessee health officials were working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They now knew of eight patients with meningitis – all had steroid shots at the same clinic. Massachusetts state investigators raided NECC and were stunned by what they discovered: the “laboratory” was filthy. They confiscated every vial of medication and shut down the operation. They would not learn of all the falsified documentation until much later.

Too late: the deadly outbreak was not merely in Tennessee. The North Carolina State Health Department reported that a person at High Point Regional Hospital had the same strain of meningitis too. Their patient, Elwina Shaw, had received a steroid injection a few weeks before at the High Point Surgery Center, another NECC client. And back in Nashville, Thomas Rybinski, the auto mechanic whose case happened first, just died at Vanderbilt Hospital. Godwin Mitchell in Ocala Florida died too.

By September of last year, NECC’s sneaky administrators and pharmacists already knew they were in deep trouble. Company president Cadden was arrested in his living room early one morning. Glenn Chin, the head pharmacist, was placed in handcuffs at Logan Airport in Boston as he tried to flee to China. And in the week before last Christmas, federal investigators arrested a dozen more NECC staff members, including department managers and several owners. Why? Well, it’s like this:

The recklessness of NECC moneymaking scheme had sickened and killed 900 patients in 20 states – 265 patients and 19 dead in Michigan alone. 154 patients in Tennessee with 16 people dead. And now, more than 300 lawsuits are pending against hospitals, clinics, NECC and their staff.

Michelle Caetano Thomas

Dr Michelle Caetano Thomas

So a monster federal drug scam case is pending; a drug company president and a chief pharmacist are charged with 25 counts of Murder; and Doctor Michelle C. Thomas, a University of Rhode Island pharmacy professor, finds herself in the mix, too.

And some folks still have the nerve to ask us how we became the Paramedic Heretic.

The Pedigree of a Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions

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