Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rant #150: Is There a Doctor In the House?

Yesterday, a doctor was picked up on Long Island for selling prescription painkillers without medical examination for a price. Each of these phony prescriptions netted the doctor several hundred dollars, and during a six-month investigation, "Dr. Frank" was caught on surveillance video making such deals to undercover policemen.

What makes it worse is that the community that he serves has a rampant heroin epidemic among its youngsters, and these painkillers were being used by druggies to feed their habit. The pills could be sold on the street individually for a huge profit, which then could be used to buy heroin.

What makes it even worse is that the doctor was selling the pain killers out of his own office, which is a few yards away from the local high school.

The accused doctor is my doctor, and I am absolutely astonished.

When I read the accounts yesterday, and as the story spread nationally, I couldn't think straight. This was the doctor I entrusted my body to for the past 10 years. In fact, I have actually been going to this office for the past 37-plus years, but the first 27 was with another doctor.

Anyway, I have entrusted my body to this doctor. He was personable, very professional, and gave me no cause for concern. He was always there when I need a physical, or when I was sick, or when I received my monthly allergy shots.

But, as we have learned from the Tiger Woods saga, people can live double lives. They can be one way in certain circumstances, and another way in other situations.

Evidently, this doctor--a family man with several children, some of them very young--led some type of double life. When his trial comes up, I am sure we will find out more about this and the reasons he did what he did.

But, in the meantime, I feel that he let me, my family, and the entire community down.

A doctor is someone you trust with your life. He never did me wrong, or my wife wrong, or other extended family members wrong, but when someone you trust gets tied up in something this heinous, you have to ask yourself if there were any instances when you thought something was awry.

A few months ago, the doctor decided to go the "holistic" route, I suppose, using this term because I really don't know what route he was taking. He seemed to forsake medicine for awhile. He was more into new-age theories and such.

But just when I was going to look for another doctor, he seemingly came back to earth. Later, he took a trip with his family back to his native India, and that seemed to give him his old verve back.

But something was certainly amiss, but I, and probably all of his "real" patients, did not know it.

Now, I really have to search for another doctor, which is a painstaking process linked up with my health insurance and my personal needs.

I still am in shock, and that shock won't wear off for some time. For a doctor to stoop this low ... well, I just can't believe that something like this could happen to not only me, but my community.

If you can't trust your doctor, who can you trust?

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