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So who is supposed to hold physicians accountable?

Date October 30, 2007

Lawmakers air complaints that Texas Medical Board is too tough

The meeting was packed, mainly with doctors who think the board is “overenforcing” the law.

Dr. Roland Chalifoux, a former neurosurgeon in the Fort Worth area, said the board unfairly took his license after a patient died, forcing him to leave the state. If he is a danger to patients, he asked lawmakers, why is he allowed to teach and practice in Wheeling, W.Va.?

You mean he wasn’t able to go to court and have his case heard before a jury? I guess then he’s in the same boat as every patient is in Texas who might suffer from malpractice.

Might the board be “overenforcing?” Sure. But given how physicians are protected from excessive medical malpractice awards in court (from Republican or Democratic patients) it’s really hard to feel sorry for them.

And do you think representative Brown would have gone out of his way to investigate the board if one of his constituents had complained of medical malpractice and the board hadn’t responded?

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10 Responses to “So who is supposed to hold physicians accountable?”

  1. Susan said:

    He failed to mention that he did appeal to District Court, and the District Court upheld the Medical Board’s decision to revoke his license.

  2. Roland Chalifoux Jr.,DO said:

    I do not expect that those unhappy with the tort reform will support me at all. I happen to believe in malpractice but what the public does not understand or want to understand is that the real problem with medicine is in the hospital. The hospital protects those who are good revenue makers while like in my case will go after someone for “whistleblowing” or just being an economic competitor. The public needs to read and understand HCQIA, the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986. Hospitals are not immune from patient lawsuits, but they are immune from destroying a doctor’s career.
    I believe in transparency and will discuss my situation at any time.
    If Susan thinks that the Disctrict Court is the answer and whatever the judge says is correct than she does not understand administrative vs civil law. I wish I and other doctors were able to try their case in front of a civil trail. In that situation, the jury decides as well as the fact that the doctor is considered innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent which is how administrative law is.

  3. Center for Peer Review Justice Inc said:

    The Center for Peer Review Justice, Inc has independently investigated the cases involving
    Dr. Roland Chalifoux and there is no doubt that not only does he practice at the Standard of Care for Neurosurgeons, the evidence revealed from neutral independent Neurosurgeons, that he practices at above the Standard of Care.

    This matter is over and is old news. Let Dr Chalifoux practice his neurosurgery for the benefit of his patients and just leave him alone.

  4. Dig ad veritas said:

    To the Center for Peer Review Justice, Inc.,

    My questions to you would be why would I give credence to your “independent investigation”? Your page is very clear that your mission is to protect and fight for “wronged” doctors. What exactly is your criteria for deciding which doctors are really “wronged” and which ones are just bad? How many of the doctors that have come to you have you deemed, upon “independent investigation”, at fault? What kind of evidence did you use in this case to decide that he is cleared? Who are the neutral independent Neurosurgeons? How many were present during the situation in question? If, as you write, so many times on your site that peer review is wrought with bias then isn’t an organization whose purpose is to fight for doctors in trouble as biased as you could get just in the opposite direction?

    I have to say I have respect for the comment by the Doctor but your choice of saying it is old news and leave him alone makes you sound like anything but a respected authority.

    To the Doctor himself,

    I am truly sorry if you were unfairly treated. Texas is a horrible state right now if you are a patient so while I could feel sorry about your individual case I would certainly rather see the Texas Medical Review Board over-enforce than under-enforce because there really is so little recourse for patients of truly negligent doctors.

  5. Sam Omar said:

    I do not know Dr. Chalifoux or any of the details of his case. I do medical review cases for another state not far from Texas. I can tell you that all the details about guilt presumed forcing the doctor to prove his innocence are true. Hosptials have state and federal legistlation providing high levels of legal immunity. Doctors have no due process UNTIL the charges are made and the discipline is meted out. Once the doctors record and reputation is damaged, the medical board with all of its unfairness issues the coup de grace ending the doctors privilege to practice medicine. A privilege that involved sacrificing a solid portion of his or her best years of life. A privilege that allows him or her to support a family, save patients lifes, and overall make the world a better place. America is looking pretty medieval these days. Most physicians make honest mistakes, that is a reality and people will be harmed but what harm would befall those people if no medical action were taken? OFF WITH HIS HEAD seems to be the only punishment available these days. That is the death penalty for physicians. After all the good physicians have taken notice, many will move on and the real pain will begin. If yo dont believe me look at the number of people in physicial pain who cant get pain medication anymore since the doctor is afraid to prescribe it for fear of prosecution. Physicians should be given the benefit of the doubt and innocence should presumed until PROVEN guilty. That is the american way and the lay public has assumed it applies to all people but in the 21st century this american principle does not apply to doctors, hospital privileges and medical licensing.

  6. Terri said:

    “The meeting was packed, mainly with doctors who think the board is “overenforcing” the law.

    Dr. Roland Chalifoux, a former neurosurgeon in the Fort Worth area, said the board unfairly took his license after a patient died, forcing him to leave the state. If he is a danger to patients, he asked lawmakers, why is he allowed to teach and practice in Wheeling, W.Va.?”

    As the daughter of the man in which he killed, I can assure you that he is not telling the whole story. I feel a relief for Texans that this man is not allowed to “practice” medicine in this state. If anyone truly wants to know what happened, I believe the court documents are public.

  7. Ricky Davis said:

    I am a former patient of Dr.Chalifoux and I have read all of the information pertaining to his case. I can tell you that he is an incredible neurosurgeon and a sincere,compassionate human being who has been completely wronged by the political situation in Texas. He operated on me in November of 1999 and took a lot of his personal time to assist me in fighting the unjust workers compensation establishment so I would not have to pay for an attorney with the remaining 70% of my income. My condition has recently worsened and I now need a 2 level fusion and I have yet to find another surgeon who I trust to put my future in their hands.I only wish Dr. Chalifoux was still practicing medicine in Texas because since my injury on June 24 1998, I have yet to find another surgeon with the credentials and who will take the time required with me to gain my trust to let operate on me. I hope that you are doing well in W. Virginia Dr.Chalifoux and if there is anything I can do to help your situation in Texas, please let me know.

    Ricky Davis

  8. b duncan said:

    Only bad uncaring doctors get sued. The good ones do not have to worry only the bad ones do.

  9. j.d said:

    B Duncan. Tell that to the pain turkey’s that cannot understand why there physician won’t give them unlimited pain medications so they can take some and sell the rest on the street only to get upset when the prescription runs out. They get upset, malicious and may just find any reason they can to try and sue. Medicine may be more complicated than labeling someone “good” and “caring”. Believe it or not, good and caring Doctors get sued.

  10. jamie mcaninch said:

    does not surprise me that he has been hired here this area is in need of neurosurgeons and they are desperate just a matter of moments before someone files a lawsuit against him here