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January 22, 2013 03:36 PM UTC

Rep. Janak Joshi: Trust Me, I'm a Physician! *

  • by: Colorado Pols

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: A commenter points out statute that Rep. Janak Joshi may have in fact violated by identifying himself as a “physician” after being forced to surrender his medical license:

12-36-106. Practice of medicine defined – exemptions from licensing requirements – unauthorized practice by physician assistants and ansthesiologist assistants – penalties – rules

(1) For the purpose of this article, “practice of medicine” means:

(a) Holding out one’s self to the public within this state as being able to diagnose, treat, prescribe for, palliate, or prevent any human disease, ailment, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition, whether by the use of drugs, surgery, manipulation, electricity, telemedicine, the interpretation of tests, including primary diagnosis of pathology specimens, images, or photographs, or any physical, mechanical, or other means whatsoever;

(b) Suggesting, recommending, prescribing, or administering any form of treatment, operation, or healing for the intended palliation, relief, or cure of any physical or mental disease, ailment, injury, condition, or defect of any person;

(c) The maintenance of an office or other place for the purpose of examining or treating persons afflicted with disease, injury, or defect of body or mind;

(d) Using the title M.D., D.O., physician, surgeon, or any word or abbreviation to indicate or induce others to believe that one is licensed to practice medicine in this state [Pols emphasis] and engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of persons afflicted with disease, injury, or defect of body or mind, except as otherwise expressly permitted by the laws of this state enacted relating to the practice of any limited field of the healing arts;

It sure looks like what Rep. Joshi claimed last Sunday (video below) is a class 2 misdemeanor under Colorado law.
As promised this past weekend, here is video from Sunday’s Colorado Right to Life rally at the Colorado capitol of state Republican Rep. Janak “Dr. Nick” Joshi, speaking in support of his House Bill 13-1032–this year’s iteration of the GOP’s perennial “fetal homicide” backdoor anti-abortion bill.

JOSHI: We have lot of work ahead of us, particularly this year, uh, some of you might have read in Denver Post two days ago, the Speaker of the House made a comment about my bill, that “Republicans haven’t learned their lesson yet.” Mr. Speaker, what lesson do you want us to learn? I’m a physician. [Pols emphasis] I know about the life. Don’t try to teach me anything.

Now folks, as soon as we heard that Rep. Joshi used the words “I’m a physician” in reference to himself, an alarm bell went off in our head. Probably because of this:


WeВ explained back in 2010В regarding then-candidate Joshi:

Joshi was named as a codefendant in a 1995 wrongful death suit, and a negligence case in 2002.

On February 8, 2006, Joshi received a letter of admonition from the State Board of Medical Examiners for failing to properly evaluate and adequately treat a patient, as well as failing to adequately document the patient’s treatment. In the letter, Joshi admitted he engaged conduct that “fails to meet generally accepted standards for medical practice.”

The letter demanded Joshi undergo an assessment at the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians, and the center recommended he retrain in a nephrology fellowship. On December 12, 2007, the Board of Medical Examiners suspended his medical license for failing to take remedial nephrology training. In August of 2008, he was forced to surrender his medical license.

So we’re not doctors, and we don’t know exactly how the professional ethics on this are supposed to work. If you’re forced to surrender your medical license, do you still get to call yourself a “physician?” Note that this may not be consistent with use of the word “doctor” in the same situation–after all, they can’t take the man’s degree from him.

But either way, calling yourself a physician, doctor, whichever, when you’ve been forced to surrender your license to practice medicine, really doesn’t seem like a very good idea.


22 thoughts on “Rep. Janak Joshi: Trust Me, I’m a Physician! *

  1. Well, even if it’s not sanctionable, it’s extremely bad form. Joshi is lucky he’s got the Denver Post to turn a blind eye, in any other circumstance I think he professional troubles would make a great story.

  2. I wouldn’t expect a criminal investigation, but . . .
    ” ‘practice of medicine’ means: . . . (d) Using the title M.D., D.O., physician, surgeon, or any word or abbreviation to indicate or induce others to believe that one is licensed to practice medicine in this state.” C.R.S. 12-36-106 (1)(d).
    “Any person who practices or offers or attempts to practice medicine, . . . within this state without an active license issued under this article commits a class 2 misdemeanor.” C.R.S. 12-36-129(1).
    “The [Colorado medical] board may, in the name of the people of the state of Colorado and through the attorney general of the state of Colorado, apply for an injunction in any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any person from committing any act prohibited by this article.” C.R.S. 12-36-129(6)(a).
    It appears that simply representing yourself as a “physician” constitutes the “practice of medicine.” At a minimum, it might be something he should refrain from doing in the future.

    1. I believe saying “I’m a physician” would “induce others to believe that one is licensed to practice medicine in this state.”

      I think this should be a bigger story. It looks to me like Rep. Joshi broke the law.

  3. Joshi: “Don’t try to teach me anything.”

    Pols: suspended his medical license for failing to take remedial nephrology training.

    I guess when Joshi says “Don’t try to teach me anything” – he really means it.

    1. Not exactly ,

      CBME made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

      If you go to the CBME website (Did you know DORA is now DOPO?), following the links to his disciplinary finding leads to dead ends (CBMS?) so I don’t know exactly what he did.

      The text quoted above sounds like a complete lack of diligence in caring for a patient, probably one he was managing over the phone by a nurse’s description. It does not describe clinical incompetence in the core tenets of nephrology. Re-training in sub-specialty care is not training in personal work ethic.

      Residencies and fellowships are funded in large part by Medicare. Training programs receive tremendous federal subsidies to pay for the education and indentured servant wages that residents and fellows receive. They want the most bang for the buck in terms of quality of doctor trained, so graduates of American programs (more likely to practice in the US then to take their training back home), take precedence over foreign medical grads, and I assume FMG’s take precedence over disgraced physicians looking to re-train so that they can make a living as a doctor. I don’t know if Medicare pays less for the different levels of trainees, but if they already bought Joshi one education, I’d be pissed as a taxpayer if we’d pay for another.

      I don’t know if he made an effort to find a new fellowship, but I’d be surprised if he was offered one.

      1. No, DORA is still the Department of Regulatory Agencies. Registrations (a division within DORA) has been renamed The Division of Professions and Occupations or DOPO.

  4. With apologies to all great practicing physicians, Iotrogenic Disease (death caused by physician treatments) is the 3rd ranking cause of death in the U.S. Over 225,000 deaths this year projected. That’s 600 a day. Trust physicians?

    1. Respectfully Sir,

      The methodology to those claims is suspect. That an elderly and infirm person with multiple medical problems with a potentially life-threatening condition dies as a complication of the treatment of that condition, is not an indictment of the integrity of the medical profession.

      1. The methodology may be suspect DaftPunk, but the claim is difficult to rebut. It’s also true that alternative medicines carry similar risks. Infection and drug complications claim the lions share of this phenomena.

        The statistic was not intended to besmirch all physicians, or even the medical establishment generally, which is why I introduced the comment as I did. The World Health Organization has stopped ranking countries by the quality of measurable outcomes, because of the complexity of the task, The last report was in 2000. In that report the U.S. tanked 37th out of 190 countries looked at. That would indicate room for improvement

        Having recently finished Richard Grossinger’s excellent book about the history of medicine “Planet Medicine”, I’m just being more critical and sensitive than most.

        A short summary: There’s Modern or contemporary medicine and Traditional or Folk medicine. Modern medicine applies health science, biomedical research, and medical technology to diagnose and treat injury and disease, typically through medication or surgery. Traditional or Folk medicine includes homeopathy, somatic theory, t’ai chi ch’uan, cranio-sacral therapy, qigong, Breema, yoga, psychic healing, Ayurvedic medicine, Siddha medicine, traditional Vietnamese medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, traditional Korean medicine, acupuncture, Muti, IfГЎ, traditional African medicine, and healing aura transformational sprays, to name a few. Astonishingly, they all work relatively well! All of them have had tragically poor outcomes, as well.

        The response of the malady to the treatment can be such a harsh critic.

        IMHO, best to stay healthy when at all possible. Here’s an interesting data point. All diseases……non-communicable (cancers generally), communicable (HIV, the infectious variety) and the last category, accidental deaths, claim about 1% of the worlds population annually.That’s still over 60 million people. It feels good to be part of the 99% in this case:-)

        In my work I’ve care for many, many elderly people….thousands. Those over 85 of age typically take fewer medications than those between the ages of 65 and 75, which I find interesting.

        The first and last dancer at the Christmas party this year, at an assisted living facility I know, was 103:-).

        1. Aaah, so true.

          Why traditional medicine works may be scientifically revealed, or only explained by the power of the mind, the most powerful organ in the body.

          A learned man once told me “nothing succeeds like success.”

    2. And your point, though misguided, is correct. People do (where’s that bold key ) trust doctors (though not as much as nurses) and Joshi is serving as a symbol of that trust. No one but wonks knows or cares that he doesn’t deserve it.

    3. “Trust physicians?”
      Well they won’t let my barber bloodlet anymore, most all shamans have been shown the way home to the Great Spirit and I’m not too believing that anyone got rid of leprosy with just layin’ on some soft hands — so school/book taught doctoring seems a pretty smart choice regardless of the odds you cite.

    1. So, MADCO, are you suggesting that during the legislative session, or while on the way to or from interim committee meetings, members of the Colorado general Assembly can claim to have any credentials they want — and claim legislative immunity? Is a “statehouse lawyer” anything link a jailhouse lawyer?

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