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October 2, 2020

Trust Me I’m a Doctor

A doctor who breaks the law might go to jail like anybody else. But who decides if that doctor gets to keep their medical license? On today’s show, the not-often-talked-about realm of licensing boards, and the disturbing decisions they sometimes make. 

Mike McQuade

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.

Prologue

For the past couple-two-three weeks, producer Ben Calhoun has been calling around to small town municipal clerks in his home state of Wisconsin, asking them how mail-in balloting really works. It can be chaotic, they say, but not in the way the president would have you believe. Ben tells Ira what he learned. (11 minutes)

Clinical Trial

Law professor Rebecca Allensworth has been studying another realm of civic-minded individuals charged with helping society function: medical licensing boards. They’re mostly doctors deciding whether other doctors should be allowed to keep practicing medicine. But they don’t always get it right. Sometimes with disturbing results. Producer Dana Chivvis reports on what Rebecca uncovered. (16 minutes)

Act Two

Dana Chivvis’s story on the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners continues with Dr. Michael LaPaglia’s contested case hearing. (26 minutes)

Rebecca Allensworth’s article about medical boards and Dr. Michael LaPaglia’s case is at the New York Review of Books

Song:

“You Don’t Need a License for That” by George Formby & “Bad Medicine” by Pierre Rossouw (radio only)