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The Medical Board of California (MBC) is in BIG trouble...
April 13, 2002
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Health Freedom activists are once again joining forces with State Legislators to solve a problem. This time it's the Medical Board of California (MBC). California is the fifth largest stand-alone economy in the world. We here, want first rate health care - and we want it right now - and we'll do what it takes to get it.
In California, there is a formula you can use to compute the IQ of a Medical Board Investigator. Take their sleeve length, add it to their neck size - then, deduct one point for every bullet they carry on their person. They say that in Southern California, there is one woman Investigator who has a calculated IQ of -34. Her 9mm Berretta has a fifteen shot clip - and she has four more loaded clips in her purse. I guess the idea is that if she should come upon some MD giving out vitamins, or nutritional advice to a family, she can deal with the situation right away...
Firing off seventy-five (75) rounds of 9mm 187 grain copper-jackets in a waiting room of a medical clinic ought to get those lawbreakers attention. I'm sure glad to know, frankly, that Medical Board of California Investigators are required to have the FULL six weeks of police science training at their local Community College to qualify for the job. Otherwise, I'd be worried. Sarcasm intended.
Of course, the training for the Investigative staff doesn't stop at the community college. I mean, after all, running down errant MDs has to be a very specialized investigative process. Those investigators obviously must have more training - and that training is provided on the job. There are training manuals, operations manuals, etc. There are people to call for advice. No one, of course, outside of the Investigative staff is allowed to SEE those manuals, or critique them. The information, and the process, provided to those "Investigators" is secret.
And there's the rub...
The Orange County Register, California's third largest newspaper has begun an "expose" of the MBC. They are not only getting the help of the Health Freedom Movement, but the help of California's MAJOR legislators of BOTH political parties, and the Governor. I predict dire consequences for the MBC. And, it's about time. Legislators are demanding not only a legislative inquiry, but are asking the State Auditor to step in. The State Auditor has police power over state agencies - and are not kindly towards errant employees. I've put the Register's web address down at the bottom of this article, so you can read those articles.
It was only a few months ago, here in California, when Health Freedom leaders joined with State legislators, and Governor Gray Davis, to throw the entire appointed membership of the California Dental Board out on the street, for their arrogant refusal to issue adequate warnings about mercury amalgams. We, here in California, are not going to put up with any more crap.
Now, we are focused on the Medical Board. It is not a time to be nice.
This time, though, we are not interested in the appointed members. The STAFF IS THE PROBLEM. Personally, I'm for firing everyone in the building - fumigating the place - and starting over completely. We've told them, and told them, and told them.. They simply didn't listen.
It's not the first time the MBC has been officially investigated. Previous Governor Pete Wilson called in the California Highway Patrol (CHP) during his administration to investigate board problems. The CHP actually raided the board, seized records, and wrote an eight-and-one-half inch thick report SCALDING the board's operation.
Apparently MBC management didn't get the message. I PROMISE THEY'LL GET IT THIS TIME.
SO, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE MBC?
A lot. In short, the "bad" doctors aren't being disciplined, and the "good" doctors are. The California public is getting very angry about this. Every year, in California, about 10,000 complaints against MDs are taken in at the MBC. After processing, about 500 go to the "Task Force" for the next step - "Accusation." It is the decision process itself, that leads to "accusation," that creates the problem. (1) The decision process is a total SECRET. The board won't tell anyone who makes the decisions, what the parameters are, what the steps are, etc. (2) There is evidence of inappropriate "outside influence" on decision makers. (3) There is reason to believe that there is "profiling" going on of who gets prosecuted, and who doesn't. (4) There appears to be way too much influence on staff activities from the notorious Federation of States Medical Board (FSMB) questionable policy directives. (5) The "mushrooming" of appointed Board members. Board members are not involved in, and information is withheld from them about, the disciplinary process itself, and cases within the process, until the very last step - and then only to rubber stamp staff decisions.
Over the last few years I've watched the MBC staff do what I call the "control dance." To me, they tried to diminish the effect public complaint was having on the board members. It's been clear the staff didn't want citizen input. I got tired of the staff bringing the biggest cops they could find to "guard" the board against citizens expressing their views. That was done to intimidate us - and to create the false impression that the Health Freedom Movement was somehow dangerous. So, for me, the answer is simple. It is time to get an MBC staff that treats Californians with respect.
To read the Register articles (there are now three), go to www.ocregister.com and press the "search" button. In the title bar, type in the words "medical board."