As controversy grows over allegations the state Board of Medical Examiners isn't protecting the public from dangerous doctors, a longtime Ely physician says he is being unfairly singled out for punishment.
Dr. Bruce Wilkin said he is the subject of 19 separate malpractice claims which took him several months to discover were filed by the Board of Medical Examiners itself.
"They refused to specify what the charges were or say who filed them, until a few weeks ago they said they were from their own analysis," he said Wednesday.
Wilkin, who has practiced in Ely 26 years, presented his case to the Legislative Commission as that group of lawmakers was hearing an audit critical of the Board of Medical Examiners.
There have also been a number of news stories recently charging the board has failed to adequately identify and discipline doctors and failed to protect the public from doctors who have the largest numbers of malpractice lawsuits, judgments and sanctions.
Wilkin said he has apparently been targeted by the board because of high numbers of pain prescriptions he has issued to patients.
"I'm in the ER (emergency room) more than any other doctor in Ely," he said. "I see more pain patients, so I issue more prescriptions."
One of the things medical examiners are instructed to look for is physicians who issue higher numbers of prescriptions for medications such as pain pills, which are most often abused.
"They're targeting me because I take care of more patients," said Wilkin.
He said recent changes in the law allow physicians to issue prescriptions for those types of drugs for up to six months at a time.
He said he sees numerous patients "who live with intractable pain as a result of disabling injuries or the ravages of aging or diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis."
"I believe no patient should be forced to endure the agony of daily suffering and sleepless nights because of a lack of adequate pain treatment," he said.
He said he has followed state law in treating such patients -- "yet I face attack on my license while firmly anchored in that very harbor."
"The bottom line for me is still the fact that I am being denied my basic civil and constitutional rights to a fair and impartial hearing," he said.
Contact Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.