Dissent gets you investigated if you are a doctor in South Dakota.

On May 30, Dr. Annette Bosworth wrote an opinion column in that Sioux Falls paper alleging that the state Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners had "reprimanded" a young doctor after he disclosed that he has multiple sclerosis. SDBMOE president Dr. Robert L. Ferrell shot back in a June 12 letter to the editor that Dr. Bosworth's statement was "totally untrue." SDBMOE did not issue any such reprimand, but it did impose on March 16, 2012, a "voluntary" stipulation on Dr. Jacob Kusmak that he practice only under mentorship of an approved doctor.

Dr. Bosworth contends that the state board requires doctors seeking licensure to answer questions on their state applications that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. She argues that physicians like Dr. Kusmak already submit to enough training and scrutiny without submitting to invasive SDBMOE questions about illness and addiction that "do not elicit meaningful knowledge regarding competence and go against the ADA."

The SDBMOE's response: haul Dr. Bosworth in for a hearing and possible punishment Wednesday.

If the board doesn't like Dr. Bosworth's opinion of its action on Dr. Kusmak or its arguable violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it probably really doesn't like the online petition Dr. Bosworth's husband, Chad Haber, has posted calling for an investigation of SDBMOE exec Margaret Hansen. The petition alleges that Hansen has committed the following "fraud, abuse, and misuse of power":

  • Failed to recuse herself from investigating complaints she personally filed against medical providers.
  • Claimed to have recused herself from an investigation and then proceeded to become personally involved in such investigations.
  • Used her official government position to retaliate against providers that spoke out against BMOE policy and actions.
  • Breached the privacy of providers subject to BMOE actions.
  • Violated the Constitutional Due Process rights of providers subject to BMOE actions.

I've not had any professional interaction with Dr. Bosworth, so I can't speak to her medical abilities. However, she appears to have lots of hustle. As an independent practitioner, she this year became the first doctor in South Dakota to meet federal standards for integrating electronic medical records into her practice, which earned her a trip to the White House last week for recognition. According to her website, Dr. Bosworth is busy with Haiti relief, a youth obesity project, the Minnehaha County drug court, and various other service projects.

Doctors swear to "do no harm or injustice" to their patients. Perhaps the SDBMOE will enlighten us tomorrow, but I'm having difficulty seeing where Dr. Bosworth has caused harm or injustice to her patients by criticizing a possibly illegal policy of the board that licenses doctors in the state. She might actually be doing patients some good by keeping them from losing good doctors.