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What is happening to the medical profession?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine just sent me this. This doctor was one of mine in Alaska.

Doctor's license suspended for 2 years
BOARD: One patient got 38,000 narcotics and other pills.

By Ann Potempa
Anchorage Daily News

(Published: February 4, 2003)
Three months after suspending Dr. Samuel Schurig's medical license, the Alaska State Medical Board unanimously voted to continue the suspension for two years. The board said it will consider reinstating the license then, if Schurig complies with certain conditions.

The board summarily suspended Schurig's license Oct. 24. Licensed in Alaska since 1983, Schurig had been treating patients at Eagle River Primary Care Center.

Summary suspensions are typically followed by a hearing to decide whether a doctor's license should be reinstated, remain suspended or be revoked. In this case, Schurig and the board came to an agreement, which eliminated the need for a hearing. In the agreement, the board reprimanded Schurig for "disappointing and unprofessional behavior."

If Schurig undergoes a medical and psychiatric evaluation, attends a continuing education course and pays up to $40,000 in fines, he can request his license back.

The suspension came after an investigation by the state Division of Occupational Licensing revealed that Schurig, 52, had prescribed almost 38,000 narcotics and other pills to one patient since early 1998. Schurig sometimes hid the drugs in the patient's yard or put them in a shed or trash bin outside his office, according to state documents.

He also had pre-signed prescription forms and left them at the clinic where physician assistants used them to prescribe controlled medications, the state said. Alaska regulations do not allow physician assistants to write such prescriptions.

Schurig's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, was unavailable Monday to comment on the agreement. Schurig could not be reached at his former medical center.

The agreement with Schurig was a topic of discussion at the board's regular meeting Thursday in Juneau. Members disagreed over the length of the suspension. Some wanted it to continue 18 months after the original October date. Others thought 30 months was more appropriate.

Board member Dr. David Head favored a shorter suspension. "I think you're completely taking away his ability to make a living," Head said at the meeting. He acknowledged that Schurig's offenses were terrible and that the doctor needs to be retrained and punished severely. "But I think 12 months is punishing him severely," he said.

Head said he thought the suggested suspension had more to do with punishment than rehabilitation.

Constance Livsey, another board member, agreed that the suspension is partly punitive. "It took our most drastic possible action to get Dr. Schurig's attention that we took these allegations of misconduct seriously," she said.

The board compromised with a 24-month suspension. Before asking for his license back, Schurig must meet the following requirements:

-- Pay a $30,000 fine. After his license is returned, he could have to pay another $10,000 if he violates the agreement.

-- Permanently surrender his registration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe certain controlled substances, including narcotics and other drugs that have a high potential of abuse and dependency. He may not self-prescribe any mood-altering medications.

-- Undergo psychiatric or psychological, as well as medical, evaluations and comply with all recommendations submitted by the people evaluating him.

-- Complete a continuing education course about patient-physician boundaries.

-- Limit his work to family practice. That means he cannot treat any patients who require pain management, other than offering immediate care to relieve pain and referring the patients to practitioners specialized in pain management.

-- He cannot pre-sign prescription forms that can be used by other health care providers to issue controlled substances.

Leslie Gallant, executive administrator for the board, said the agreement will save time and money. When a hearing is called, the state has to pay for an attorney, a hearing officer to consider the case, and expert witnesses who must travel to Alaska to testify, she said.
post #2 of 8
One word: GREED
post #3 of 8
Originally posted by hissy
Board member Dr. David Head favored a shorter suspension. "I think you're completely taking away his ability to make a living,"
Well...Duh! When you do something so stupid and illegal of course you are going to loose your job! Just because he can't practice as a physician doesn't mean he can't go work at McDonalds or something. Jeeze!

Hissy, was he a good doctor when you lived up there?
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
He got me addicted to two different pain killers after i had a nasty fall on the ice. It took me over a year to kick the residual effects these two drugs had on me. And I remember one day he took me into his office and scolded me for taking the pills he prescibed to me!
post #5 of 8
How horrible! Something similar happened at my mom's office. The state inspectors found out that the nurse who takes care of their MR (mentally retarded) patients had been falsifying records. She double-dosed one patient, and gave all of the patients in one group home the wrong medication! Needless to say, she's getting fired.
post #6 of 8
OMG thats awful!
post #7 of 8
What a waste, to throw away all of that education. A nurse, that I worked with, was caught stealing drugs at the nursing home, that we worked at. When a patient dies, their meds are bagged up and sent back to the in-house pharmacy. She was the med nurse and was pocketing the "good stuff", while falsifying the charts. Stupid scam and all to support her useless boyfriend. Sandy went to prison and will never work, as a nurse, again.

One would think that she'd have stayed away from drugs. Her husband died, from ODing on nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
post #8 of 8
This is so terrible! It is such a shame that people we look up to in the medical field and trust for help and guidance can do things like this!!! I know there are alot of really good Doctors out there, but it seems there are an awful lot of them who aren't lately. It is so sad that they throw away their careers like this!!!
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