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Doctors Behaving Badly: Doctor with arms dealer aspirations made many excuses

Doctors Behaving Badly: Doctor with arms dealer aspirations made many excuses

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Dr. Ahmad Hosseinipour in Ohio seemed to have a different excuse every time he found himself in a corner.

Hosseinipour had not even made it out of his medical residency when he attracted the wrong kind of attention, according to state medical board records. In February 1995, he complained to the director of the Western Reserve Care System's residency program in Youngstown about "unfair scheduling, psychological abuse, corruption, discrimination and quality of training" and then submitted his letter of resignation. Shortly thereafter, he showed up at Northside Medical Center, which is part of the Western Reserve campus, and was asked to leave. He then went to Southside Medical Center, where he was asked to leave.

So he went to Liberty Firearms.

There he made a proposition to a store employee that must have been unique, even for a gun shop. He said he would pay the employee $5,000 to help him buy weapons and ship them to Iran without being detected.

The fear of getting caught didn't stop him from calling an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and stating that he "would like to place a bomb in the Medical Education Building at Northside Medical Center." He would go on to make similar threats against the chief executive officer of Western Reserve and a Trumbull County Family Court judge.

Why a family court judge? Hosseinipour was involved in a divorce with his wife, following his arrest on domestic violence charges alleging he had beaten her, kicked her in the stomach and threatened her with a knife.

Somehow, Hosseinipour avoided being thrown in jail up until this point. But in January 1997, the State Medical Board of Ohio ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation. The board also held a hearing where Hosseinipour testified that his death threats were misunderstood. "I say I'll kill you, it means, you know, I need your help. I need your attention," he said, according to board records.

Following the hearing, the board voted to permanently revoke Hosseinipour's license.

So he launched a series of lawsuits. Against the medical board.Against Seton Hall University. Against the federal government, claiming, according to court records, "that he had lost his job and family due to a government policy of national origin discrimination against Iranian-Americans." In the federal government case, the U.S. District Court in that case dismissed the lawsuit as "frivolous." The medical board won its case, and the Seton Hall case was determined to be past the statute of limitations.

Two years later, Hosseinipour tried again. Again the court threw the case out. So he pivoted. He refiled his lawsuit but claiming a new type of discrimination, Court documents show that Hosseinipour was claiming that he had "recently been diagnosed with HIV-related encephalopathy. From the motion and attachments, it appears that Hosseinipour now wished to allege discrimination in the loss of his state medical license based on the Americans with Disabilities Act."

In 2001, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit scuttled this lawsuit, too. (One has to wonder where a physician having trouble finding someone to employ him would find funding for these legal efforts.)

This claim of HIV-related discrimination had an interesting origin, and, again, everyone but Hosseinipour was at fault. Hosseinipour wrote later in an ALL CAPS letter to the state medical board that he had been working at St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey, when he had been stuck with an HIV-tainted hypodermic needle. He then blamed St. Michael's for failing to properly protect him from HIV and blamed Case Western Reserve for failing to diagnose him with HIV, even though he apparently had tested positive for HIV in 1992, before ever entering the residency program.

A court-appointed psychiatrist summed the situation up nicely:

Essentially, Dr. Hosseinipour's narcissism does not allow him to appreciate how he comes across so that, when it is important, he can successfully modify his behavior to get what he wants.

Eventually, one can exhaust all excuses.

Final question: When should records for a doctor drop out of public view? Hosseinipour's case file is fully available, simple to find and even text-searchable, with some exceptions, courtesy of the Ohio medical board, even though most of the allegations date back to more than a decade ago. States such as California drop records off their websites after 10 years. Some states only carry five years' worth of records. Given how cheap servers are these days, is it reasonable to expect states to store and provide all records on all state-licensed doctors over the past 50 years? Let me know what you think at askantidote [at] gmail [dot] com

Jenn Harris contributed to this report.

View this doctor and others on the Doctors Behaving Badly Google map.


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