Board reprimands doctors who wrote sick notes - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: State Medical Board reprimands doctors who wrote sick notes


MADISON (WKOW) -- Dr. Kathy Oriel never tried to hide the fact that she was writing sick notes for protestors at the Capitol in February.

She even told 27 News at the time that she knew she might get in trouble for it.

"We think its worth the risk to support the people and we feel very strongly that these are professionals who would, really would like to be in school, who would like to be in school with our classes, but they're put in a position where they really have no choice," said Dr.  Oriel.

That risk landed Oriel and six other doctors in trouble with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

The other doctors are Dr. Louis Sanner, Dr. James Shropshire, Dr. Hannah Keevil, Dr. Bernard Micke, Dr. Mark Beamsley and Dr. Adam Balin.

The department's attorney, Jeanette Lytle, recommended a formal reprimand of the doctors to the state Medical Examining Board.

"I do think that this discipline is within the realm of reason, given my past experience," Lytle told the board Wednesday morning.

But, attorneys for the doctors testified that a reprimand is a punishment that doesn't fit the crime.

"Ms. Stanton and I attempted to suggest a lesser discipline, perhaps an administrative warning, something that would not forever mark these physicians careers," said Patricia Epstein, an attorney for two of the reprimanded doctors.

"And I know the punishment is going to be reported to the national databank and as Ms. Epstein notes, follows them around," said Marie Stanton, attorney for the other five.

But the majority of the board agreed that a reprimand was appropriate, after finding no evidence in the physicians' records to indicate an evaluation was even performed on the people who received the sick notes.

"There may be other issues, but we felt at this point that disciplining them on the medical records would be enough to prevent such behavior in the future and send a message," said board chair Dr. Sujatha Kailas.

The doctors in question will also be required to take four hours of medical record-keeping training and to pay for the costs associated with the proceedings.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Medical Examining board has voted to reprimand seven local doctors who handed out sick notes to protestors during the Capitol rallies in February.

The board reprimand specifically cites the doctors for a lack of proper record-keeping related to the sick notes.

The board stated that the doctors records were deficient, because there was no way to determine what kind of evaluation they actually did before issuing the sick notes.

The board also passed two of Lytle's other recommendations: that each doctor be required to take four hours of continuing medical education and that they pay for the costs of the legal proceedings.

The doctors in questions are:  Dr. Louis Sanner, Dr. Kathleen Oriel, Dr. James Shropshire, Dr. Hannah Keevil, Dr. Bernard Micke, Dr. Mark Beamsley and Dr. Adam Balin. 

All of the doctors are a part of UW Health, except for Dr. Balin, who is a physician for Dean Clinic.

Attorneys for the doctors argued that a formal reprimand was too harsh, because it will go into a national database for doctors as a permanent mark on their records.  

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann is following this story and will have full report on 27 News at 5 and 6.


MADISON (WKOW) --  The state Medical Examining Board will decide Wednesday if seven local doctors should be disciplined for handing out sick notes during the Capitol rallies in February.

Schools in Madison were closed for four days while many teachers protested at the Capitol.

Some of the teachers got excuse notes from licensed doctors on the square. The UW Medical school says at least a dozen doctors were disciplined in some way in late April or early May.

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