Some of us are just curious. If you had a medical test done, and the results are sitting in your chart, don’t you want to know what they say right now? But especially if it’s bad news, it may be better to wait until you can speak with your provider to find out what the test results really mean.
Instant results are more common now than they were years ago, thanks to a provision in the 21st Century Cures Act. Test results must be released to patients without delay in most circumstances. That means you may get an email or an app notification before your doctor even gets to see the results.
Traditionally, test results were often given to you by the doctor who ordered them. There might be a distinction based on whether the results were routine, or something serious: you might get a bad diagnosis broken to you in person, versus a phone call to say everything was fine. In some cases, no news was good news, and you’d only get a call if there was a problem.
That system had its issues, of course. But it also meant that if you are going to get a serious diagnosis, or if you might have to make an important decision (like whether you get surgery), you can do so in the presence of a provider who can explain what they do and don’t know about your condition, and can walk you through the next steps in the process.
Even for routine tests, getting the results from your provider directly can mean you get context. Maybe one of your lab values was a bit high, but that’s to be expected given your health issues. Or maybe you see a scary-sounding medical term that turns out to be a jargon-y way for saying that everything was normal.
It’s easy to spiral into worry if you see something that you think is problematic, and you don’t have somebody to talk to about it. And if your first step is to google what you see, you may end up going down some deep rabbit holes, convincing yourself that you either do or don’t have a terrifying medical condition. It may be best to skip this step entirely and wait to find out until you have a person to talk things over with.
While you certainly risk jumping to conclusions, worrying yourself unnecessarily, or getting hit with bad news when you least expect it, there are also upsides to getting your test results right away. (After all, they are your results, and the law now recognizes that it’s your right to read them if and when you want.)
For one thing, routine tests usually deliver routine results. Either your cholesterol is high or it isn’t. So you can look, and now you know what you’ll be talking about with your doctor when you do finally get that call or show up to your next appointment. If you were expecting the result and feel comfortable viewing it, knock yourself out.
Now, that’s not true of all tests; sometimes there are unexpected findings, so you have to be okay with the risk that you might see something confusing or worrying.
Even if you’re expecting potentially life-changing news, you may still want to know sooner rather than later. I remember missing a call from my dog’s veterinarian at the beginning of a long holiday weekend; I knew she probably had a terminal illness but I didn’t appreciate the extra three days of wondering about it. Just deliver me the bad news already. Similarly, in a study of cancer patients in Sweden, some said that seeing their results immediately reduced their anxiety over bad news.
For many of us, getting results sooner helps us to feel more in control of our care and our medical decisions, and gives us an opportunity to be better informed. We can make a list of questions to ask at the follow-up visit. We can also be sure that the test has actually been done and the results delivered, instead of assuming that any results we haven’t seen must be good news.
Ultimately, it’s your choice whether you want to look at your test results the second they arrive. (You can also ask your doctor to delay releasing information that might be serious, but not all computer systems have an easy way for them to indicate that.) So here’s how to manage some of the pros and cons.
First, turn off MyChart alerts (or however you might be interrupted with the news.) A New York Times article on the downsides of studying your own results includes a story of someone who had experienced a pregnancy loss getting a surprise notification for a fetal autopsy report. The surprise seems like it was the most upsetting part.
By turning off notifications, you won’t get interrupted with test results, whether you’re expecting them or not. This way, you can check for them when you feel ready. I recommend turning the notifications off by default, and then if there is a test result you really do want to see instantly, you can go ahead and turn the notifications back on temporarily.
Next, make sure you think through the possibilities before the results come in. Before you get the test or the scan, ask your provider what the possible results might be, and what each would mean. (I’d argue this question should be part of the conversation anytime you’re offered a test or treatment. What will we be doing differently if the test comes back positive versus negative?)
Also make sure to ask when you’ll be able to discuss the test results. Will you get a call? Will there be a follow-up appointment? When will that be? This way if you do need to talk to somebody about the results, you know when you’ll have the opportunity.
You do have to figure out whether you are ready for bad news, and what you’ll do if you get it—and, similarly, whether you can handle getting confusing news, like if you read the report and aren’t sure what it means. Will you spend the next few days googling the report and asking health care worker friends to read it with you? Will that make you feel better or worse about it?
Most importantly, do not make assumptions until you’ve talked to the doctor. Whatever information you gather from looking up the terms on your report or asking your nurse friend what they think, view all of those things as possibilities to discuss with your provider.
And if you find yourself spiraling into worry while you await the appointment, recognize when you’re gathering information and when you’re just doomgoogling. Call a friend (or call the office, if they’re open) and make sure you’re taking care of your mental as well as your physical health.
Kitchen counters and bathroom sinks across America turned into miniature medical testing labs over the past year, as millions of people swabbed their noses and found out in minutes if they had COVID-19.
Even before the pandemic, many Americans bought tests that had them spit into a tube at home and pop it in the mail, so a company could run tests and alert them to potential health risks lurking in their DNA.
In fact, a new poll shows, 48% of people age 50 to 80 have bought at least one kind of at-home health test, including 32% who had bought COVID-19 tests, 17% who had bought a DNA test, and lower percentages who had bought other types of tests. But use of such direct-to-consumer medical tests varies greatly by age, race/ethnicity, marital status, income and years of education, according to the new report from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.
Even so, 82% of older adults say that in the future, they would be somewhat or very interested in taking a medical test at home.
The vast majority (92%) of older adults agree that the results they receive from these tests should be shared with the person’s doctor or other provider. But among those who actually have bought and used a home test for a non-COVID-19 infection such as HIV or a urinary tract infection, just 55% shared their result with their primary care provider, the poll shows. On the other hand, 90% of those who bought and used a cancer-related home test said they shared the result.
The poll is based at the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and supported by AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.
“As more companies bring these direct-to-consumer tests to market, and buy ads promoting them, it’s important for health care providers and policymakers to understand what patients might be purchasing, what they’re doing with the results, and how that fits into the broader clinical and regulatory picture,” says Jeffrey Kullgren, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., the poll’s director.
“As we have seen in COVID-19, it’s important to share results from a home test with a provider so that it can be used to guide your care and be counted in official statistics,” adds Kullgren, a primary care physician and health care researcher at Michigan Medicine and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
The poll shows that 53% of older adults believe at-home tests are regulated by the government. The reality is complicated.
Many types of tests that people can buy themselves to take at home, or that they take at home on the advice of a health professional, are reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as medical devices, or overseen by the FDA’s program for testing laboratories that process samples sent to them. But not all of the tests that people can buy directly online or in a store are regulated in this way. For instance, tests marketed as “wellness” tests rather than ones used for diagnosis or to guide treatment are not regulated; neither are those with minimal risk.
The FDA has a searchable database of home tests it has approved based on evidence about their safety and accuracy, and a page about the COVID-19 at-home tests it has authorized under emergency conditions. It also offers more information about direct-to-consumer tests and home use tests involving a health care professional. But not all tests get the full FDA review; the agency advises consumers to ask vendors or health care providers about the status of a test.
“Home tests can be a convenient way for older adults to check if they have an illness, such as COVID-19” says Indira Venkat, Senior Vice President, AARP Research. “But consumers should make sure they know whether the test they are taking is FDA-approved, and how their health or genetic information might be shared.”
More about the poll findings:
Note: Respondents were asked to respond based on tests they had bought themselves online or at a store, not those given to them by a health care provider to collect a demo at home or those given to them for free.
The poll report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for IHPI, and administered online and via phone in July 2022 among 2,163 adults age 50–80. The demo was subsequently weighted to reflect the U.S. population. Read past National Poll on Healthy Aging reports and about the poll methodology.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
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Unlike for many other professions, there is no age limit for practicing medicine. According to international standards, airplane pilots, for example, who are responsible for the safety of many human lives, must retire by the age of 60 if they work alone, or 65 if they have a co-pilot. In Brazil, however, this age limit does not exist for pilots or physicians.
The only restriction on professional practice within the medical context is the mandatory retirement imposed on medical professors who teach at public (state and federal) universities, starting at the age of 75. Nevertheless, these professionals can continue practicing administrative and research-related activities. After "expulsion," as this mandatory retirement is often called, professors who stood out or contributed to the institution and science may receive the title of professor emeritus.
In the private sector, age limits are not formally set, but the hiring of middle-aged professionals is limited.
At the Heart Institute of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine Clinical Hospital (InCor/HCFMUSP), São Paulo, Brazil, one of the world's largest teaching and research centers for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, several octogenarian specialists lead studies and teams. One of these is Noedir Stolf, MD, an 82-year-old cardiovascular surgeon who operates almost every day and coordinates studies on transplants, mechanical circulatory support, and aortic surgery. There is also Protásio Lemos da Luz, MD, an 82-year-old clinical cardiologist who guides research on subjects ranging from atherosclerosis, the endothelium, microbiota, and diabetes. The protective effect of wine on atherosclerosis is one of his best-known studies.
No longer working is also not in the cards for Angelita Habr-Gama, MD, who, at 89 years old, is one of the oldest physicians in current practice. With a career spanning more than seven decades, she is a world reference in coloproctology. She was the first woman to become a surgical resident at the HCFMUSP, where she later founded the coloproctology specialty and created the first residency program for the specialty. In April 2022, Habr-Gama joined the ranks of the 100 most influential scientists in the world, nominated by researchers at Stanford University, Stanford, California, in the United States and published in PLOS Biology.
In 2020, she was sedated, intubated, and hospitalized in the intensive care unit of the Oswaldo Cruz German Hospital for 54 days due to a SARS-CoV-2 infection. After her discharge, she went back to work in less than 10 days — and added chess classes to her routine. "To get up and go to work makes me very happy. Work is my greatest hobby. No one has ever heard me complain about my life," Habr-Gama told Medscape Portuguese edition after having rescheduled the interview twice because of emergency surgeries.
"Doctors have a professional longevity that does not exist for other professions in which the person retires and stops practicing their profession or goes on to do something else for entertainment. Doctors can retire from one place of employment or public practice and continue practicing medicine in the office as an administrator or consultant," Ângelo Vattimo, first secretary of the state of São Paulo Regional Board of Medicine (CREMESP), stated. The board regularly organizes a ceremony to honor professionals who have been practicing for 50 years, awarding them a certificate and engraved medal. "Many of them are around 80 years old, working and teaching. This always makes us very happy. What profession has such exceptional compliance for so long?" said Vattimo.
In the medical field, the older the age range, the smaller the number of women. According to the 2020 Medical Demographics in Brazil survey, only two out of 10 practicing professionals older than 70 are women.
Not everyone over 80 has Habr-Gama's vitality, because the impact of aging is not equal. "If you look at a group of 80-year-olds, there will be much more variability than within a group of 40-year-olds," stated Mark Katlic, MD, chief of surgery at LifeBridge Health System in the United States, who has dedicated his life to studying the subject. Katlic spoke on the subject in an interview with Medscape that was published in the article "How Old Is Too Old to Work as a Doctor?" The article discusses the evaluations of elderly physicians' skills and competences that US companies conduct. The subject has been leading to profound debate.
Katlic defends screening programs for elderly physicians, which already are in effect at the company for which he works, LifeBridge Health, and various others in the United States. "We do [screen elderly physicians at LifeBridge Health], and so do a few dozen other [US institutions], but there are hundreds [of healthcare institutions] that do not conduct this screening," he pointed out.
Age-related assessment faces great resistance in the US. One physician who is against the initiative is Frank Stockdale, MD, PhD, an 86-year-old practicing oncologist affiliated with Stanford University Health. "It's age discrimination.... Physicians [in the United States] receive assessments throughout their careers as part of the accreditation process — there's no need to change that as physicians reach a certain age," Stockdale told Medscape.
The US initiative of instituting physician assessment programs for those of a certain age has even been tested in court. According to the article published in Medscape, "in New Haven, Connecticut, for instance, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a suit in 2020 on behalf of the Yale New Haven Hospital staff, alleging a discriminatory late career practitioner policy."
Also, according to the article, a similar case in Minnesota, also in the United States, reached a settlement in 2021, providing monetary relief to staff impacted by out-of-pocket costs for the assessment, in addition to requiring that the hospital in question report to the EEOC any complaints related to age discrimination.
The fact is that increased life expectancy and, subsequently, the number of middle-aged physicians in practice has raised several questions regarding the impact of aging on professional practice. In Brazil, the subject is of interest to more than 34,571 physicians between 65 and 69 years of age and 34,237 physicians older than 70. In all, this population represents approximately 14.3% of the country's active workforce, according to the 2020 Medical Demographics in Brazil survey.
The significant participation of healthcare professionals over age 50 in a survey conducted by Medscape to learn what physicians think about the age limit for practicing their professions is evidence that the subject is a present concern. Of a total of 1641 participants, 57% were age 60 or older, 17% were between 50 and 59 years, and 12% were between 40 and 49 years. Among all participants, 51% were against these limitations, 17% approved of the idea for all specialties, and 32% believed the restriction was appropriate only for some specialties. Regarding the possibility of older physicians undergoing regular assessments, the opinions were divided: 31% thought they should be assessed in all specialties. Furthermore, 31% believed that cognitive abilities should be regularly tested in all specialties, 31% thought this should take place for some specialties, and 38% were against this approach.
Professionals want to know, for example, how (and whether) advanced age can interfere with performance, what are the competences required to practice their activities, and if the criteria vary by specialty. "A psychiatrist doesn't have to have perfect visual acuity, as required from a dermatologist, but it is important that they have good hearing, for example," argued Clóvis Constantino, MD, former president of the São Paulo Regional Medical Board (CRM-SP) and former vice president of the Brazilian Federal Medical Board (CFM). "However, a surgeon has to stand for several hours in positions that may be uncomfortable. It's not easy," he told Medscape.
In the opinion of 82-year-old Henrique Klajner, MD, the oldest pediatrician in practice at the Albert Einstein Israeli Hospital in São Paulo, the physician cannot be subjected to the types of evaluations that have been applied in the United States. "Physicians should conduct constant self-evaluations to see if they have the competences and skills needed to practice their profession.... Moreover, this is not a matter of age. It is a matter of ethics,” said Klajner.
The ability to adapt to change and implement innovation is critical to professional longevity, he said. "Nowadays, when I admit patients, I no longer do hospital rounds, which requires a mobility equal to physical abuse for me. Therefore, I work with physicians who take care of my hospitalized patients."
Klajner also feels there is a distinction between innovations learned through studies and what can be offered safely to patients. "If I have to care for a hospitalized patient with severe pneumonia, for example, since I am not up to date in this specialty, I am going to call upon a pulmonologist I trust and forgo my honorarium for this admission. But I will remain on the team, monitoring the patient's progression," he said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Klajner stopped seeing patients in person under the recommendation of his son, Sidney Klajner, MD, who is also a physician. The elder Klajner began exploring telemedicine, which opened a whole new world of possibilities. "I have conducted several online visits to provide educational instruction to mothers returning home post delivery, for example," he told Medscape Portuguese edition. The time to stop is not something that concerns Klajner. "I'm only going to stop when I have a really important reason to do so. For example, if I can no longer write or study, studying and rereading an article without being able to understand what is being said. At this time, none of that is happening."
In the US, as well as in Brazil, physicians rarely provide information to human resources departments on colleagues showing signs of cognitive or motor decline affecting their professional performance. "The expectation is that healthcare professionals will report colleagues with cognitive impairments, but that often does not happen," Katlic told Medscape.
It is also not common for professionals to report their own deficits to their institutions. In large part, this is caused by a lack of well-defined policies for dealing with this issue. Medscape Portuguese edition sought out several public and private hospitals in Brazil to see if there is any guidance on professional longevity: most said that there is not. Only the A. C. Camargo Cancer Center reported, through its public relations team, that a committee is discussing the subject but that it is still in the early stages.
Brazilian specialist associations do not offer guidelines or instructions on the various aspects of professional longevity. Constantino tried to put the subject on the agenda during the years in which he was an administrator with the CFM. "We tried to open up discussions regarding truly elderly physicians, but the subject was not well received. I believe that it is precisely because there is a tradition of physicians working until they are no longer able that this is more difficult in Brazil.... No one exactly knows what to do in this respect." Constantino is against the use of age as a criterion for quitting practice.
"Of course, this is a point that has to be considered, but I always defended the need for regular assessment of physicians, regardless of age range. And, although assessments are always welcome, in any profession, I also believe this would not be well received in Brazil." He endorses an assessment of one's knowledge and not of physical abilities, which are generally assessed through investigation when needed.
The absence of guidelines increases individual responsibility, as well as vulnerability. "Consciously, physicians will not put patients at risk if they do not have the competence to care for them or to perform a surgical procedure," Clystenes Odyr Soares Silva, MD, PhD, adjunct professor of pulmonology of the Federal University of São Paulo School of Medicine (UNIFESP), São Paulo, Brazil, told Medscape. "Your peers will tell you if you are no longer able," he added. The problem is that physicians rarely admit to or talk about their colleagues' deficits, especially if they are in the spotlight because of advanced age. In this situation, the observation and opinion of family members regarding the healthcare professional's competences and skills will also hold more weight.
In case of health-related physical impairment, such as partial loss of hand movement, for example, "it is expected that this will set off an ethical warning in the person," said Constantino. When this warning does not occur naturally, patients or colleagues can report the professional, and this may lead to the opening of an administrative investigation. If the report is found to be true, this investigation is used to suspend physicians who do not have the physical or mental ability to continue practicing medicine.
"If it's something very serious, the physician's license can be temporarily suspended while [the physician] is treated by a psychiatrist, with follow-up by the professional board. When discharged, the physician will get his or her [professional] license back and can go back to work," Constantino explained. If an expert evaluation is needed, the physician will then be assessed by a forensic psychiatrist. One of the most in-demand forensic psychiatrists in Brazil is Guido Arturo Palomba, MD, 73 years old. "I have assessed some physicians for actions reported to see if they were normal people or not, but never for circumstances related to age," Palomba told Medscape.
In practice, Brazilian medical entities do not have policies or programs to guide physicians who wish to grow old while they work or those who have started to notice they are not performing as they used to. "We have never lived as long; therefore, the quality of life in old age, as well as the concept of aging, are some of the most relevant questions of our time. These are subjects requiring additional discussion, broadening understanding and awareness in this regard," observed Vattimo.
Constantino and Silva, who are completely against age-based assessments, believe that recertification of the specialist license every 5 years is the best path to confirming whether the physician is still able to practice. "A knowledge-based test every 5 years to recertify the specialist license has often been a syllabu of conversation. I think it's an excellent idea. The person would provide a dossier of all they have done in terms of courses, conferences, and other activities, present it, and receive a score," said Silva.
In practice, recertification of the specialist license is a syllabu of discussion that has been raised for years, and it is an idea that the Brazilian Medical Association (AMB) defends. In conjunction with the CFM, the association is studying a way to best implement this assessment. "It's important to emphasize that this measure would not be retroactive at first. Instead, it would only be in effect for professionals licensed after the recertification requirement is established," the AMB pointed out in a note sent to Medscape Portuguese edition. Even so, the measure has faced significant resistance from a faction of the profession, and its enactment does not seem to be imminent.
The debate regarding professional longevity is taking place in various countries. In 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Medical Education released a report with a set of guidelines for the screening and assessment of physicians. The document is the product of a committee created in 2015 to study the subject. The AMA recommends that the assessment of elderly physicians be based on evidence and ethical, relevant, fair, equitable, transparent, verifiable, nonexhaustive principles, contemplating support and protecting against legal proceedings. In April of this year, a new AMA document highlighted the same principles.
Also in the US, one of oldest initiatives created to support physicians in the process of remedial education and competency assessments, the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) Physician Assessment and Clinical Education Program (PACE), has a Late Career Health Screening. For those wanting to learn more about discussions on this subject, there are online presentations on experiences in Quebec and Ontario, Canada, with assessing aging physicians, neuropsychological perspectives on the aging medical population, and what to expect of healthy aging, among other subjects.
Created in 1996, PACE mostly provides services to physicians who need to address requirements of the state medical boards. Few physicians enroll on their own.
PACE's Late Career Health Screening is a physical and mental health screening for late-career physicians and healthcare professionals who have reached a certain age (generally 70 and older) but otherwise have no known impairment or competency problems. The screening is designed to detect the presence of any physical or mental health problems affecting the provider's ability to practice. If concerns are identified, further evaluation will be recommended.
This article was translated from the Medscape Portuguese edition.
Dr. Anna Elperin, who was at the center of multi-part KING 5 investigation, cannot practice medicine in Washington until the charges are resolved.
ELLENSBURG, Wash. — A Washington state medical board has suspended the license of an Ellensburg doctor who was at the center of a KING 5 investigation for selling COVID-19 vaccine waivers to help workers dodge a state vaccine mandate.
The Washington state Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery announced Wednesday that they suspended Dr. Anna Elperin’s osteopathic physician's license, pending further legal action.
Elperin’s license was previously restricted in December after the board accused the doctor of signing COVID vaccine exemptions for four first-time patients in August without charting or specifying a medical condition to justify them. Under that restriction, she wasn't allowed to write new medical vaccine waivers but she could still practice medicine.
The suspension is based on the allegations related to vaccine waivers, plus new charges involving five additional patients who saw the doctor between 2019 and 2021, according to state disciplinary records filed last week.
State health regulators accuse Elperin of keeping “scant and inaccurate” medical records for an insulin-dependent diabetic patient with high blood pressure, who has a history of hospitalizations for possible strokes and seizures. They claim Elperin certified the patient for a commercial driver’s license without any medical justification, and she advised him to discontinue medications without documentation or clarity, records show. The board also claims Elperin didn’t comply with opioid prescribing regulations for high-risk chronic pain patients, including patients who reported a history of opioid abuse.
Elperin has 20 days to request a hearing to contest the new charges. The charges filed against Elperin in December are currently being contested, according to the state board.
Elperin, who owns Awake Health in Ellensburg, cannot practice in Washington until the new charges are resolved.
The doctor did not respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.
The latest disciplinary action against Elperin follows a 2021 KING 5 investigation, which revealed she repeatedly signed and sold COVID vaccine and mask exemptions to residents across Washington state, in some cases with no questions asked.
Elperin issued mask and vaccine exemptions to four undercover KING 5 journalists throughout the fall of 2021, without asking if they had a qualifying medical condition that precludes them from getting the vaccine, in exchange for a cash fee.
In June, another KING 5 story revealed Elperin is the subject of eight open Washington state Department of Health (DOH) investigations, based on a series of other allegations that former employees and patients lodged against her.
According to a KING 5 review of more than 1,800 pages of state investigatory records, Elperin faces accusations that she abused alcohol and prescription drugs before treating patients, forged prescriptions, sexually harassed her employees and pretended to shoot staff with a loaded handgun she carried around her medical practice.
Those allegations are not included in the disciplinary records that suspend her medical license, but state officials say they continue to investigate the claims.
Katie Pope, a DOH spokesperson, said the department has received and reviewed 34 complaints about Elperin, closing 26 of them without action. She declined to discuss the details of the eight investigations that remain open.
Newly-obtained state records show at least one of the open complaints against Elperin came in April from the executive medical director of the Washington Physicians Health Program. The organization provides confidential assistance to health care providers “with medical conditions that may affect their ability to practice safely.”
Citing an assessment and toxicology testing, Dr. Chris Bundy told DOH that he determined Elperin “may be unable to practice safely due to physical and/or mental impairment and impairment due to alcohol or other substance abuse,” according to the complaint.
It's not clear, based on investigatory records reviewed by KING 5, if Elperin responded to the complaint.
Prior to the news of Elperin’s summary suspension, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery faced criticism from Elperin’s complainants and multiple experts who specialize in how medical boards respond to allegations of misconduct.
They questioned why the medical board did not exercise its power to suspend Elperin’s medical license months ago, given the mounting evidence provided to state regulators and the serious allegations that she put the safety of patients and her staff at risk.
In order to suspend a physician's license, under state law, Washington’s medical boards must demonstrate it’s “more probable than not” that the provider poses an “immediate threat to public health and safety.” But, experts said, many of the country’s medical boards are unlikely to suspend licenses unless a patient dies or is injured as a result of a provider’s actions.
As soon as state officials receive a complaint against any Washington medical professional, they have deadlines outlined in state regulations: 21 days to evaluate the allegations, 170 days to investigate, 140 days to decide whether to bring charges and 180 days to complete hearings.
The oldest active investigation into Elperin’s conduct has been open for more than 377 days, according to state records.
That probe, launched in September 2021, stems from the patient’s complaint that Elperin treated patients while “visibly high” and that she misprescribed medications under friends' names.
“Some investigations are more complex than others, and they can take longer,” Pope, the DOH spokesperson said. “The department moves forward with cases as quickly as possible. Every case is unique, and there are a lot of variables that can affect the length of time that it takes to complete an investigation.”
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is celebrating 50 years.
WVSOM is the largest medical school in West Virginia that is based out of Lewisburg, but has a school in Parkersburg.
The school has some of the highest number of physicians working in rural communities.
Jim Nemitz, President of WVSOM, and Dr. Marla Haller, Assistant Regional Dean for Central West Statewide Campus, talked about the past and future of WVSOM and the students.
Nemits said, “Our founders had a vision for populating the rural areas of West Virginia with doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, and 50 years later we have done that.”
Haller said, “We hope that as our students rotate through those sites (hospitals), and if there’s residency opportunities for the students. If they are interested in staying in this area that they match in the residency, become attending physicians, and provide health care for this community.”
For more information on WVSOM you can visit:
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia State University and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine have joined together on a new partnership.
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a new WVSOM pre-osteopathic medicine program at WVSU for students interested in the field. WVSOM established the program with affiliated institutions for undergraduate students interested in osteopathic medical school.
The memorandum was signed this afternoon by WVSU President Ericke S. Cage and WVSOM President James W. Nemitz, Ph.D.
“Partnerships like this are a win-win not only for both of our institutions, but more importantly for our students by creating a well-defined pathway for those who are interested in pursuing a career in osteopathic medicine,” Cage said. “These types of relationships are critical to help produce the trained professionals that the medical field needs in West Virginia and nationwide, and I thank President Nemitz for making this opportunity available to our students.”
Officials with WVSU and WVSOM say students who successfully complete all of the requirements for the new program are guaranteed acceptance into WVSOM. The presidents of the institutions say the goal of the new Pre-Osteopathic Medicine Program is to promote the field and increase the number of applicants, as well as support students at all levels of education aspiring to go into osteopathic medicine.
“This partnership will identify students who are driven to succeed and who have an early interest in osteopathic medicine, allowing WVSOM to provide mentorship and guidance for successfully navigating the path to medical school,” said Nemitz. “We are thrilled to be working with West Virginia State University to find students who excel in the classroom and who will eventually excel in providing patient care to West Virginians.”
The presidents say the program will deliver students the opportunity to create networks with other medical students as well as medical professionals to help with shadowing opportunities and Excellerate their knowledge of osteopathic medicine.
For more information on the program, visit the WVSOM website.Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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