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

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

Picture of William Heisel

What does it take for a doctor to lose his license in Arkansas?

Dr. Randeep Singh Mann appears to have pushed the envelope just about as far as it can go, and he is still holding an active medical license from that state.

Mann, an internist in Russellville, is accused of attacking the head of the Arkansas State Medical Board by planting a bomb in his driveway.

In February 2009, Dr. Trent P. Pierce, a family doctor and chairman of the medical board, was injured when a bomb went off in his driveway. Mann was questioned, his home was searched, and he was arrested in March 2009 for allegedly owning illegal firearms. Federal agents found more than 100 high powered weapons in his garage, including, according to Arkansas Online, grenades ready to be launched from military style launchers.

Then, in January 2010, he was indicted on federal charges that he used a weapon of mass destruction to try to kill Pierce. According to The New York Times:

The explosion left Dr. Pierce blind in his left eye, significantly damaged his hearing and broke several bones. He has returned to his medical practice in West Memphis on a limited basis, and in August resumed presiding over medical board meetings. "He's trying to see how fast he can come back to his normal speed," said Bill Trice, the board's senior executive officer. Before the attack, the board, with Dr. Pierce pointedly concurring, had twice disciplined Dr. Mann for overprescribing drugs. In 2006 it stripped him of authority to prescribe drugs, effectively ending his practice.

According to the Mark Friedman's story in Arkansas Business Online, 10 of Mann's patients had died from overdoses of drugs Mann prescribed. Mann blamed the patients.

The board, which includes the motto "Protecting The People Of Arkansas" under its name on its Web site, makes no mention of any of this – no drug ODs and certainly no WMDs – when you try to find out about Mann. The only clue it provides is that his license status is "Active" but his license category is "Revoked/Stayed."

Final question: Is this really the best that can be done in 2010? There is no reason an agency devoted to "protecting the people of Arkansas" cannot provide more details about its physicians online. And, if you think medical board's can't step in before a legal case has finished its course, look at how the Medical Board of California, working with the California attorney general, is trying to take away the medical license of Dr. Conrad Murray's license away based on manslaughter charges he is facing in the death of Michael Jackson. A medical license comes with strings attached, and, apparently, those strings can be very long in the state of Arkansas.

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