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State board sanctions 11 more doctors for sick notes

State board sanctions 11 more doctors for sick notes

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MADISON — The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board on Wednesday sanctioned 11 more doctors for writing questionable sick notes to protesters demonstrating at the Capitol in February 2011.

The board reprimanded six doctors, who also took classes in medical record keeping or physical exams as part of their discipline. The board said the doctors provided the notes without adequate documentation.

"It appears that the entire sick note writing episode is finally closed," said Dr. Sheldon Wasserman, chairman of the medical board.

The doctors reprimanded Wednesday are Jennifer Edgoose, Laurel Mark, Dipesh Navsaria, Richard Schmelzer and Melissa Stiles, all with UW-Madison, and Susan Carson, who is retired.

The board gave five doctors administrative warnings, which aren't considered disciplinary action. All are with UW-Madison and last year were residents, or doctors-in-training. They are James Bigham, Meaghan Combs, Jessica Dalby, Jackie Redmer and Srivani Sridhar.

In November 2011, the board reprimanded seven doctors who also handed out work excuse notes during Capitol Square protests against Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining bill.

The board also ordered those doctors to take record-keeping classes. All did so and had their licenses reinstated by February.

They are Mark Beamsley, Hannah Keevil, Bernard Micke, Kathleen Oriel, Louis Sanner and James Shropshire, all with UW-Madison; and Adam Balin, with Dean Clinic.

Also in November 2011, the board gave administrative warnings to two residents: Ronni Hayon and Patrick McKenna.

The 11 doctors sanctioned Wednesday were named in records the Madison School District released to the State Journal and other media in December after a lawsuit by the newspaper.

Sanner, of UW Health's Northeast Family Medical Center, said he organized the sick note effort after he and other doctors noticed a "high level of stress" among their patients during the protests, according to a summary of his appeal hearing at UW-Madison.

Sanner was among 20 UW doctors — 11 faculty doctors and nine residents — disciplined last year by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health for their actions.

They violated doctor conduct guidelines regarding honesty, integrity, modeling of professional behavior and being aware of their "external image," Dr. Robert Golden, medical school dean, wrote in their disciplinary letters.

Sanner, Oriel and Shropshire lost five days of pay — ranging from $3,586 to $4,001 — and leadership positions for four months. Some of the others lost one-and-a-half or three days of pay.

This year, the university completed investigations for Navsaria and Schmelzer, said UW Health spokeswoman Lisa Brunette. Their discipline was similar to what the others received, she said.


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