Michael E. Greer, M.D. Surrenders Medical License

Stephen Barrett, M.D

In 2011, after extensive involvement with Washington Medical Assurance Commission, Michael E. Greer, M.D. permanently surrendered his medical license. Greer's troubles appear to have surfaced 1997 when, according to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Greer resigned from Swedish Medical Center after a committee investigated patient complaints and recommended revoking his hospital privileges [1]. He began practicing at another hospital, but in 1998, he entered into an Stipulation for Informal Disposition in which he agreed not to accept new obstetrical patients into his own practice.

In 2000, the Commission concluded that he had complied with the order and lifted his restriction. However, he got into trouble because he prescribed labor-inducing drug (Cytotec) for a pregnant women referred to him by a midwife and the infant was born with severe brain damage. In 2001, the Washington Medical Assurance Commission charged him with unprofessional conduct because had kept no documentation of his care and had failed to assure the availability physician backup for the labor and delivery [2]. The charges were settled with an agreed order under which Greer was (a) assessed costs of $2,000, (b) placed probation for three years, (c) prohibited from accepting referrals from any midwife; (d) prohibited from supplying Cytotec to any midwife, (e) required to study the medical literature and write a paper about about appropriate use of Cytotec, and (f) subjected to compliance reviews of his practice [3].

In 2004, the Commission charged that Greer had violated the 1998 order by providing obstetrical services to another pregnant women during 2000, while the order was in effect. The Statement of Charges alleged that Greer had "failed to act in a reasonably prudent manner in his management of the patient's labor and delivery, resulting in the death of the infant." [4] In 2005, the 2004 complaint was amended with additional charges that he had prescribed weight-loss medications to five patients and that he had inappropriately prescribed thyroid hormone for weight loss [5]. The amended charges, based on concerns about his management of six patients, were accompanied by a summary order prohibiting him from prescribing any medications [6]. Later that year, Greer agreed to pay a $3,000 fine and serve five years of probation during which he was barred from providing obstetrical services and from prescribing or providing thyroid medication without establishing a diagnosis of hypothyroidism with standard hormone testing [7]. In 2010, the Commission charged Greer with violating the 2005 order by prescribing thyroid medication to two patients whose thyroid tests were normal [8]. This time, he settled the charges by agreeing to surrender his medical license [9].

Current Activities

Loss of his license has not stopped Greer from professional activity that does not involve direct patient care. His Web site describes him as "an integrative medicine specialist focused on holistic, herbal, homeopathic and naturopathic solutions for health, incorporating the best of conventional medicine with natural medicine products and philosophies" and states that he "lectures internationally at medical conferences and seminars to educate doctors about integrative medicine." His lecture schedule indicates that most of his lectures are done on behalf of Standard Process (a supplement company) and Heel (a homeopathic product manufacturer). His Web site also states that he "retired" in 2011 but is available for consultations with professionals.

References

  1. Castro H. Hospitals settle in death of infant. Couple of son born with brain damage will get $5 million. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dec 19, 2002.
  2. Statement of charges. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, July 31, 2001.
  3. Stipulated findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, Dec 13, 2001.
  4. Statement of charges. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, Sept 24, 2004.
  5. First amended statement of charges. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, March 16, 2005.
  6. Ex parte order of summary action. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, March 17, 2005.
  7. Stipulated findings of fact, conclusions of law, and agreed order. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, Oct 12, 200.
  8. Statement of charges. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, Dec 23, 2010.
  9. Stipulated findings of fact, conclusions of law, and agreed order. In the matter of the license to practice as a physician and surgeon of: Michael E. Greer, MD. Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, July 21, 2011.

This article was revised on June 16, 2013.

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