—This article was researched, written, and published on-line by the Alliance for Natural Health, (www.anh-usa.org) in 2013
“MQAC” (Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission) scheduled a three-day hearing on March 18th, 19th, and 20th, 2013 to decide what to do about Dr. Wright’s Washington State license to practice medicine—all because he trusted MQAC to accurately inform him and all citizens of Washington State on the MQAC website.
A medical doctor (“MD”) joined Tahoma Clinic in September of 2007. Prior to his seeing patients, Tahoma Clinic employees checked the website noted above, which listed MD’s Washington State medical license as “pending”. Tahoma Clinic’s attorney told Dr. Wright that it is legal for a medical doctor with a “pending” license in Washington State to work with patients if he (or she) is supervised by another physician licensed in Washington State.
Dr. Wright supervised him very closely, reviewing every one of his patient visits starting in September of 2007 to January of 2008. After that, Dr. Wright met with MD once weekly to review patient records selected at random from the prior week’s patients. Weekly reviews continued until MD left Tahoma Clinic (and Washington State) in April of 2009.
Tahoma Clinic employees continued to check the MQAC website noted above every month while MD was at Tahoma Clinic. For the entire time, his medical license was listed as “pending”. With this status, supervised practice is legal. Despite this MQAC has charged Dr. Wright with “aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine”! MQAC claimed that this “aiding and abetting” endangered the health and safety of the citizens of Washington State.
Legal proceedings followed. During deposition of an MQAC official by Dr. Wright’s attorney, the official admitted that one section of MQAC actually knew from the very start of Washington State’s entire licensing process that this MD’s medical license (outside of Washington State) had been revoked! However, this information was never “posted” on MQAC’s website for Tahoma Clinic employees or the public to see. MQAC’s website always listed MD’s license status as “pending” the entire time he was in Washington State.
It is not known whether the withholding of this important information was the result of error or done deliberately. However, if there was indeed any endangerment of the health and safety of the citizens of Washington State, it was the action (or inaction) MQAC itself which created that endangerment, by not posting the information they admitted they had at the very beginning of the licensing process for MD.
A few suspect that this key information was deliberately withheld to “entrap” Dr. Wright, pointing to MQAC’s decades-long pattern of harassment of “alternative medicine’ physicians. There was no patient complaint or allegation of harm against MD in this MQAC investigation, nor was there any patient complaint or allegation of harm in the prior two MQAC investigations of Dr. Wright and Tahoma Clinic, briefly reviewed below.
On October 29, 2007, MQAC sent a letter to Dr. Wright which told him they were investigating the Tahoma Clinic telephone system, alleging that “all incoming calls go to voice mail” with “the potential of harm to the patients”. While Dr. Wright and Tahoma Clinic wondered how it would be possible to stay in business at all if “all incoming calls go to voice mail”, they were forced to go through the process of defending their telephone system. Two years and $35,000 in attorney fees later, the investigation was concluded—with no changes at all to the telephone system.
On March 6, 2006, MQAC sent a letter to Dr. Wright alleging that a number of procedures described on the Tahoma Clinic website were “inefficacious”. There were no allegations of danger to patients, and no complaints of patient injury. Procedures described on the website included chelation therapy, colon hydrotherapy, intravenous ozone, and non-invasive sensitivity screening.
Legal proceedings ensued; more than $20,000 in legal fees later, the investigation was settled; despite the 1st Amendment (“freedom of speech”) descriptions of these procedures were removed from the Tahoma Clinic website. It was later discovered that the entire investigation was based on a single e-mail communication to MQAC by an M.D. member of “Quackwatch”, who posts on her website (http://quackfiles.blogspot.com) that she “blogs” regularly about “Alternative Medicine, Quackery, Health Fraud”.