The Chicago Tribune reports that a former Illinois surgeon, who practices in northwest suburban Lake in the Hills and in Iowa has been charged with professional incompetence and misconduct by the Iowa Board of Medicine related to his practice. These allegations stem from the doctor’s Lyme disease focused practice that has been deemed, “harmful or detrimental to the public.” Additionally, he is charged with sexual misconduct and unprofessional conduct stemming from an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female Illinois patient. This victim states that she contacted the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation regarding the incident. He has since been placed on indefinite probation by the Illinois Department.
The surgeon is licensed in both Iowa and Illinois, and his current practice centers on treating and diagnosing patients for a type of Lyme disease that many medical authorities do not recognize including the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Neurology. Lyme disease is an infection typically transmitted by ticks that can cause swollen joints, inflamed nerves, and rashes. It is normally fully treated by a round of antibiotics. However, certain doctors, including this surgeon believe that patients with reoccurring issues like back pain, fatigue or poor concentration are caused by a chronic form of Lyme disease. These doctors believe that chronic Lyme disease cannot be caught by tests or with standard treatment, causing many of their patients to be treated with antibiotics for months or even years at a time.
In an email to the Chicago Tribune last year, the surgeon stated that he maintains this practice because he contracted Lyme disease in 2006 and therefore he is dedicated to the care of Lyme disease patients. He treats dozens of patients every week, many for Lyme disease. This Lyme practice is the center of the Iowa Board of Medicine’s charges against him, alleging that he diagnosed and treated patients for Lyme disease even though they did not meet established standards for the disease set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Further, they seriously questioned his treatment methods and accused him of engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female patient from Illinois whom he was treating for Lyme disease. A hearing on these charges has been set for February of next year.
Doctors should be held to the highest standards of professional care for their patients. Any misconduct, whether it is by their medical practice methods or by the more outright crime of sexual abuse, is not to be tolerated. Our Chicago malpractice attorneys understand that any inappropriate behavior by a doctor should not be tolerated by the victim. The relationship between doctor and patient is a professional and important one, much like the relationship between a lawyer and their client. If you or a loved one has been the victim of doctor misconduct, please contact our offices to learn about your legal rights.