To understand what today's blog is about doctors should consider the following. Let’s say I can find via the Internet a doctor in Canada who will write me a script for high blood pressure meds; should I do it to save money? After all, I’m 58 years-of-age, have earned three college degrees and hold a doctorate from a major university. I think I’m pretty smart and being frugal I’d like to save some money. I know what’s right and what’s wrong with me and being pretty smart I think I can handle this myself. So should I do it? Should I get my scripts filled by mail-order from the Canadian doctor?
Doctor’s Answer: [You fill in the answer. Choices: yes, no, maybe, you’re crazy.]
Now the rest of my advice: Well isn’t that what you’re doing when as a medical doctor you read a little on the Internet and then handle your own legal problems with the Iowa Board of Medicine’s investigator? If it makes sense for a doctor to represent themselves in a legal matter, then doesn’t it make sense for me to get my scripts filled on the Internet? And that’s my point it’s a huge mistake to try and do this without knowing what comes next and how not to get into further trouble. You think by hiring a lawyer it will make you look “guilty”, but it won’t. What it will make you look like is you’re taking this matter very serious.
Yeah, I get it, no one wants to spend money on lawyers; but how is that any different than us getting our scripts filled by Iowa doctors when we can get it done so cheap in Canada. I think the answer is obvious so I won’t beat a dead horse discussing the shortcomings of using the Internet doctors to get prescription drugs. Instead I’ll let you fill in the blanks, but let us look at what’s coming after you get that proverbial Oh-My letter. [Not really and Oh-My letter as much as it’s an Oh-S__t! one.]
Here's what is coming: When someone files a complaint with the Iowa Board of Medicine, the doctor then receives a letter followed by his or her being contacted by an investigator and interviewed. After I become involved, I usually see there is a long letter written by the doctor explaining why they did what they did and how they did it. The letter is always written with the best of intentions, but with little thought behind how it can be interpreted by the Board. The contents of the letter are usually not vetted and no Devil’s Advocate was played with the choice of words or the content. Unfortunately by the time the stamped envelope is put in the mail all the good intentions can’t take the words back. So like the advice you would give to me about the Canadian Internet doctor, why not hire a lawyer before you drop your letter in the mailbox. Better to spend a few thousand dollars vetting what you’re going to say, before charges are brought and who knows, maybe avoiding charges all-together. Because when they read the letter they aren't looking for ways to not file charges, they are looking at what you said to support those charges. Now do you get it?
As my mother would say, better to be penny wise than pound foolish.