License Suspension of Charles Gant, M.D.

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

In 2003, the New York State Supreme Court upheld the license suspension of Charles Gant, M.D., who practiced "orthomolecular medicine" in Solvay, New York. The judge's ruling summarized what happened:

Petitioner, a physician licensed to practice in New York since 1980 who specializes in the nonconventional field of orthomolecular medicine,' was charged by the Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct with 74 specifications of misconduct under Education Law § 6530. The charges included gross negligence, gross incompetence, negligence on more than one occasion, incompetence on more than one occasion, fraud, moral unfitness, excessive testing, filing a false report, receiving consideration from a third party for patient referral and failing to maintain adequate records. The allegations stem from petitioner's treatment of nine patients from 1998 to 2000, as well as reports that petitioner had, among other things, misrepresented his credentials, utilized a laboratory to conduct diagnostic tests for which it was not certified in New York and received improper consideration from a nutritional supplement company in which he had an ownership interest.

After a hearing which spanned 18 days, a Hearing Committee of the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter Committee) sustained many of the charges. Specifically, the Committee found that petitioner had, among other things, repeatedly failed to obtain complete medical histories for his patients, failed to perform required physical examinations, failed to document his diagnoses, prescribed medications without documenting an adequate medical indication, ordered tests from a laboratory not certified to do such tests, documented diagnostic codes which did not accurately reflect the treatment actually provided, provided patients with erroneous diagnostic codes on their billing statements and misrepresented his credentials. The Committee further found that petitioner had improperly prescribed nutritional supplements which were exclusively sold by a company in which he had an interest and from which he received consideration. The Committee ordered the suspension of petitioner's license to practice medicine for five years, but stayed all but six months of the suspension subject to petitioner's successful completion of courses to the satisfaction of the Director of the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (hereinafter OPMC). . . .

With respect to petitioner's nine patients who were the focus of the OPMC investigation, the record fully supports the findings that petitioner—in most, if not all, of the cases—recurrently failed to meet acceptable standards of care in that petitioner failed to obtain an adequate medical history; failed to perform and document an adequate physical examination; failed to form and document an accurate initial and working diagnosis (although he may have formed—as to some patients—an accurate diagnosis); prescribed medication without documenting adequate medical indications; sent specimens for testing to a diagnostic laboratory which he knew or should have known was not certified by this state to perform such tests; failed to maintain accurate medical records; knowingly documented diagnostic codes for which no evaluation or treatment was provided; and placed such erroneous diagnostic codes on the patients' bills knowing that they would use these bills to seek reimbursement under their third-party health coverage. There is also ample support in the record for the Committee's finding that, as charged, petitioner improperly received consideration from a nutritional supplement company which exclusively distributed and sold the supplements and nutrient formulae which petitioner prescribed to his patients, a business in which he had an ownership interest. Petitioner received consideration from the company in the form of the promotion of his medical practice and of a book he had authored. Also well documented is the finding that petitioner misrepresented his credentials when he advertised that he was trained in family practice and psychiatry, knowing that he had not satisfactorily completed the required residency for either of these specialties. Accordingly, there is substantial record evidence to support the Committee's determination sustaining the charges that petitioner practiced the profession with negligence on more than one occasion, practiced his profession fraudulently, engaged in conduct which evidences moral unfitness, filed false reports, received consideration from a third party for patient referrals and failed to maintain accurate records [1].

Before his suspension, Gant's Web site stated:

The diagnostic and treatment methods of "orthomolecular medicine" are not recognized as valid by the scientific medical community [3]. Gant's appeal argued that he should not be held to the standards of conventional medicine, but the Court ruled that regardless of differences in treatment regimens, "all physicians who are licensed to practice in New York may be held to the same standards." [1] The board's 31-page statement of charges describes how Gant mismanaged the nine patients [4]. After the Court's decision was announced, Gant stated that he would not resume practicing after his 6-month suspension ended [5]. Since then, however, he has been practicing as a registered naturopath in Washington, D.C.

Gant has a "PhD' in psychology from Columbia Pacific University, a nonaccredited correspondence school that was subsequently closed by order of a California court [6].

References

  1. Spain J and others. Memorandum and judgment. In the matter of Charles Gant, petitioner v Antonia C. Novello, as Commissioner of the State of New York, et al., Feb 13, 2003.
  2. http://www.charlesgant.com, accessed in 2002.
  3. Barrett S. Orthomolecular therapy. Quackwatch, July 12, 2000.
  4. Determination and order, In the matter of Charles Edward Gant, M.D., Aug 22, 2001. (Includes statement of charges as Appendix A)
  5. Mulder JT. Jamesville doctor says he will quit practice. The Post Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), Feb 20, 2003.
  6. Dr. Charles Gant, Ph.D., N.M.D. National Integrated Health Associates Web site, accessed Feb 13, 2004.

This page was revised on February 11, 2009.

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