So I have had the same medical assistant now for almost three years. Or rather I had up until three weeks ago. Last Thanksgiving she texted me asking if I would call in a few Tramadol for her teenage son who isn’t my patient. She said he hurt his back. The ibuprofen wasn’t helping and the Tylenol with codeine made him sleepy. I texted her back that he needed to see his Pediatrician because he isn’t my patient.
She was my patient and I kept a chart on her care and her medications. So fast forward a month and a half and the clinic where I work received a call from a pharmacist that flagged her name. After some detective work we discovered she had been calling in prescriptions for pain medication for herself, her son, her daughter and son in law while using my name as authorization. Large numbers of Tramadol. I was so hurt and angry all at the same time. Every holiday I bought her gifts. I baked cookies and bread for her. I listened to her cry when her granddaughter moved away. I taught her medicine. And yet, she risked my license without a second thought, apparently.
We used to have fun working together. The clinic hasn’t seemed the same without her and now we’re interviewing for a new medical assistant. I had my own private practice some years ago. I had a medical assistant who stole several thousand dollars in cash- slowly over the course of a few months. I helped her and her family out and yet she stole.
These women both went on to get new jobs in no time at all. The assistant from my prior practice got a job with a local judge. I called the judge and told him she stole from me. He hired her anyway. Years later I found out that she stole from him! Last I heard she was doing working during the week and doing jail time on the weekend.
At my current job I was told I can’t call her new employer and tell him what happened because we could be sued! Her new employer called for verification of employment and HR told them we would not rehire her, but that’s all they said. I have no doubt she will continue her same tactics. We did file a police report and filed a case with the Narcotic division- with the officer who deals with phone in prescription abuse. There is an entire department for this. But he said that not much will happen to her. She may lose her MA license- apparently she never had one anyway. They’ll send her to rehab. It’ not a felony to impersonate a physician.
Now as a physician I have no recourse if someone maligns me under the guise of a Sham Peer Review. I wanted to sue the physicians who ruined my reputation for Defamation of character. I was told not to bother as I wouldn’t get too far and it would cost thousands of dollars. It is incredible to me that I did exactly what was expected as a physician in training and practice and end up losing the ability to practice my specialty because of a couple of unscrupulous people. My medical assistants had more rights than me.
Doctors have slowly signed over any power they had to lawyers, administrators and insurance companies for the sake of a good income. The few that have stood up to power have been crucified, burned at the stake, etc…..