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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Dr. Mark Schreiber

Here is an article from today's Palm Beach Post. I'm a former patient of Dr. Schreiber who has an office in Boynton Beach Florida. From Jan. 1994 to the summer of 95, Dr. Schreiber did several wide excisions of skin cancers that were on my body. Last Friday the Florida medical board suspended Dr. Schreiber from the practice of medicine.

The accusations leading to Dr. Schreiber's suspension are troubling. He has been in and out of the news since 1998. In my case he was a good doctor, but I won't deny that what is reported isn't true. TFM would like to think the best of the doctor, for if not for him I may not be alive today. It is just hard to dismiss what has happened. I'll let you make up your own minds.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Jo's Cafe,

Mondays are supposed to be scalpel days for Boynton Beach plastic surgeon Mark D. Schreiber. But not today.

The Florida Department of Health issued an emergency suspension order against the doctor late Friday, saying it believed that the last time the state suspended Schreiber's license, he continued to operate, performing liposuction and lip enhancement in 2005 during a month he was forbidden to practice.

On hearing of the suspension order, Schreiber's attorney, Michael Salnick, said the surgeon has become a scapegoat for a system that hasn't always policed its problem doctors.

"Over the years, people were critical that physicians were protected. Now all of a sudden, all of that vigilance seems to be directed at this individual," Salnick said. "He appears to be taking the heat for many, many physicians who have done far worse and appear to have gotten away with it."

On his Web sites, Schreiber emphasizes his artistic and socially conscious sides. There are intricate watercolor paintings and accounts of global volunteer work repairing children's cleft palates.

A suite of before-and-after photographs depicts surgical artistry: thunder-thighs turned thoroughbred, eye bags erased, flat bosoms made ample.

There's no mention, however, of the lengthy malpractice docket, the thickening state disciplinary file or a decade's worth of press clippings that highlight out-of-court settlements and over-the-top marketing misadventures. No mention of the 1997 tavern T-shirt contest in which the winner won a free breast augmentation, courtesy of the doctor and a Miami radio station.

Schreiber is awaiting state action on a 2002 patient death and court action on a 2005 criminal battery charge filed by a disgruntled plastic surgery patient who called 911.

The Florida Board of Medicine has yet to act on either instance. But in a news release issued late Friday, the Department of Health's top administrator, Dr. M. Rony Francois, said he felt compelled to take immediate action.

"His history of complaints strongly concerns the Department and the Board," Francois wrote. "We have no choice but to suspend this practitioner's right to practice medicine in order to protect the residents and visitors of Florida."

It has taken more than 3 1/2 years for the Florida Board of Medicine to act on the death of Boynton Beach developer Ralph DiGiovanni, who died in 2002 days after Schreiber performed an in-office neck lift and hernia repair.

The board's delayed review has brought renewed scrutiny of doctors' ability to police their fellow physicians. The Florida board is among the nation's most lenient, according to Public Citizen's Health Research Group, ranking 32nd in the issuance of severe penalties.

It's not the first time Schreiber's practice has brought scrutiny to the Board of Medicine itself. In January 1998, a Schreiber patient, 51-year-old Daniel Parish of Lantana, died after nine hours of multiple procedures: liposuction, penis enlargement and eye and neck cosmetic surgery.

Publicity over that case launched an array of new regulations intended to make in-office surgery in Florida safer. Since then, many of the restrictions and penalties for violating them have been weakened.

Schreiber, meanwhile, has faced continued turmoil.

His license was suspended in October 2005 because, according to the Florida Department of Health, "Schreiber gave the department reason to question his ability to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety when he appeared to be under the influence and inappropriately touched the patient. He was arrested for domestic battery against his wife in 2005."

The suspension was lifted after Schreiber agreed to work with patients only in the presence of another doctor.

Salnick said both of those incidents have been misconstrued.

In the domestic case, a bystander called police upon hearing a verbal argument between Schreiber and his wife, Salnick said. The state attorney's office dropped the charges, Salnick said.

In the case of the alleged "inappropriate touching," Salnick said the police report makes clear that the alleged victim indicated the touching was not of a sexual nature.

Schreiber had agreed to come in on a weekend to remove sutures from a woman who had eye surgery. The woman has a history of filing nuisance lawsuits, Salnick said. As for the woman's "under the influence" accusation, the doctor was on cold medicine but was trying to help, Salnick said.

"I'm disappointed that the administrative body didn't wait for the criminal justice system to work through the process," Salnick said. "Dr. Schreiber is a talented, well-respected physician. He looks forward to the time when he can return to practice."

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