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Doctors Behaving Badly: Michigan medical board keeps physician's misdeeds under cover

Doctors Behaving Badly: Michigan medical board keeps physician's misdeeds under cover

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Patricia Cornwell, take note: The Michigan Board of Medicine may have a treasure trove of story ideas for your crime novels.

How does this sound for a book opener?

A married patient leaves a new pair of expensive boots at a psychiatrist's office with a note saying, "If you ever decide to ‘kick up your heels,' I just hope you'll do it with me."

Cut to the doctor's office a few months later, heels and everything else tossed onto the floor while the two had sex.

When confronted about violating the boundaries between patient and therapist, the story takes a Cornwellian dark turn. The doctor tells a state investigator that she had only engaged in a relationship with the patient "out of fear" and that the patient had "exhibited ‘homicidal' behavior," according to medical board documents.

Toss into the mix some risky flirtations with the minister of a local church recovering from two sexual assaults, and you not only have a book but a made-for-TV movie.

For now, though, the board is keeping cases like the case of Dr. Elizabeth Bennett Cox under lock and key. The public has to make a request in writing – via mail, fax or email – and then wait at least a week for the documents to arrive in the mail.

Cox may be a fantastic therapist. But shouldn't prospective patients of hers be allowed to easily access the records of behavior the board has deemed negligent, incompetent and lacking in good moral character?

In December 2008, Cox was suspended from practicing for two years, which means she'll be back in action in December. Maybe that's penance enough, but shouldn't her new patients have all the information available before deciding whether to seek treatment from her?

It's not just romantic dalliances that are kept under wraps in Michigan. Negligence that resulted in patient deaths. Incompetence that left patients permanently injured. Lack of good moral character that defrauded patients and the public of money. All of this might as well be a secret because, unlike most states, it is not provided by the board in an easily accessible database.

But the secret should be out soon enough. Board staff members tell Antidote that they are in the process of scanning their disciplinary records and posting them online. They hope to complete the project by the end of 2010.

This is good news for patients. It's also good news for budding thriller writers.

To read the documents related to this case, click here. To see Cox on the Doctors Behaving Badly Google map, click here.

To inquire or to quibble, write askantidote [at] gmail [dot] com.

The Doctors Behaving Badly tour thus far:

Doctors Behaving Badly: Mississippi makes public pony up for peek at doctor histories

Doctors Behaving Badly: Minnesota doc bends pregnant patients to weird whims

Doctors Behaving Badly: Massachusetts doc's solo flights leave patients plummeting with no chute

Doctors Behaving Badly: Maine welcomes psychiatrist with fraud conviction and drug abuse concerns

Doctors Behaving Badly: Louisiana board keeps doctor's inappropriate history hush-hush

Doctors Behaving Badly: Sixty-somethings, beware of this inappropriate Louisiana internist with a secret past

Doctors Behaving Badly: Kentucky weight loss doctor ordered to reform his battering ways

Doctors Behaving Badly: Medical boards should drop the stone tools, join the digital age

Doctors Behaving Badly: Kansas medical board hides misdeeds from public scrutiny

Doctors Behaving Badly: In Iowa, having an MD is a license to take meth

Doctors Behaving Badly: Indiana doc plays the victim when finally caught overdosing patients

Doctors Behaving Badly: Indiana drug mill kept patients happy and hooked

Doctors Behaving Badly: Chicago doc accused in baby's death gets by with a little help from the Klan

Doctors Behaving Badly: Illinois obstetrician's malpractice case leaves one patient victorious, others stonewalled

Doctors Behaving Badly: Idaho board bars doctor from tummy tucks, facelifts and other plastic surgery

Doctors Behaving Badly: Hawaii psychiatrist hides from sex abuse troubles with "mahalo" from state

Doctors Behaving Badly: Georgia ob/gyn made his office a singles bar

Doctors Behaving Badly: Florida Doc Charged with Soliciting Underage Sex Online

Doctors Behaving Badly: Toys in Delaware pediatrician's basement didn't make it less of a dungeon

Doctors Behaving Badly: Warned about Delaware doctor's dungeon, hospital shrugged

Doctors Behaving Badly: DC anesthesiologist was caught with painkillers meant for babies

Doctors Behaving Badly: Connecticut fertility doctor survives despite bombshell accusation

Doctors Behaving Badly: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Colorado, Part 1

Doctors Behaving Badly: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Colorado, Part 2

Doctors Behaving Badly: California emergency care physician reported for duty drunk

Doctors Behaving Badly: WMDs won't cost doctors their MD in Arkansas

Doctors Behaving Badly: Arizona faith healer finally steps outside medical board's good graces

Doctors Behaving Badly: Alabama eye doctor prescribed drugs to patients, sight unseen

Doctors Behaving Badly: Alaska psychiatrist drew the sex abuse line at coworkers



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The Hospital facilities in Detroit Michigan are a National disgrace. The state of Michigan has the worse Doctors in the United States of America. In fact, their blood products are contaminated. I wouldn't recommend a state of Michigan Hospital or Doctor to a dead dog.

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I have had a new primary doctor for at least 6 months she has all my medical reports I'm very disgusted with her lately and she knows I have the following COPD asthma elongated arotic valve heart disease chronic arthritis lupus fibromyalgia as I was explaining to her the other day my Mobility is not good I have not been to the zoo in over 2 years or any outing that involves a lot of walking I told her that my Meridian health plan would cover the cost of a Mobility scooter Compact and I can fit into my car for long outings, all she would have to do would be a prescription so that I can pick one up I also asked if she would fill out the form for disability sticker that you hang in your car she can park closer so that I won't have to walk that long ways into my house conditions and she wouldn't do it she told me to take the forms and have my neurologist doctor fill them out whenever it states on the forms to be filled out by primary physician I am definitely going to be changing my doctor because she doesn't seem to be taking my health issues seriously if there is any way that I can file a grievance on this doctor I would like to do so and if you cannot help me with that well then I'll just have to look for it myself online thank you for your time

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I am having issues with my primary doctor ignoring and denying me my prescriptions one that he wrote for me and the other that I always call in a few days early because it takes a few days to fill they are for Lupus and fibromyalgia and the other is Xanax. They Xanax he gave me a written script and refused to approve it and the Cymbolta he just denied with no reason I cannot just go off these medications and I just recently had heart surgery and had two valves replaced I need to know what I can do about this I am having extremely high anxiety and stress what can I do

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