There have been criticisms and concerns expressed here by numerous persons about the functioning of medical boards. I want to describe a situation concerning a medical board that I find frankly unbelievable, and in my opinion, this should be of concern to every medical practitioner in this country. Please enter the name Frederick Elwood Tucker into an internet search engine and one will find articles by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Charlotte Observer, a South Dakota newspaper, federal court documents and other material. In essence, Tucker was found guilty in federal court of operating a large drug running operation and was sentenced to federal prison in December 2015
Of interest is the fact that this Frederick Elwood Tucker was the Chief Investigator for the North Carolina Medical Board for about a six-year period. This was confirmed to me by an attorney for the NC Medical Board. I became aware of complaints about Tucker’s performance during the time he was Chief Investigator for the NC Medical Board, and I notified the Medical Board that there were complaints and allegations that Tucker had sent a fake patient to visit a doctor in an attempt to get a prescription for a controlled substance from the doctor, had sent an exotic dancer to visit a doctor, and had sent a fake patient to see a physician while wearing a “wire”. I suggested to the Medical Board that this matter should be investigated thoroughly to attempt to ascertain how many physicians might have been harmed by Tucker, if any, and that the only way to investigate this would be to review each case that Tucker was involved with and see if there were complaints from the physician investigated. I stressed that my simply giving a name(s) to the Medical Board would not suffice and would not allow an adequate investigation.
The then current Chief Investigator for the Medical Board contacted me to arrange an appointment in October, 2017, and I drew up an agenda of topics that I wanted to discuss. When I arrived at the meeting, I made clear that I wanted to record the meeting, but was told that no recording could be made. Further, the Chief Investigator told me that we would discuss none of my concerns and that he wanted only the name(s) of the physicians who had complained. The Chief Investigator told me that if I didn’t give him the name(s), there would be no investigation of any kind. I terminated the meeting after a few minutes without giving any name(s). To my knowledge, this entire matter concerning Tucker was never investigated in any manner by the Medical Board.
If the stated purpose of the Medical Board is to safeguard the public, I fail to see how declining to investigate major allegations is doing so.