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Anti-Aging "Gurus" Pay $5,000 Penalties

On December 6, 2000, osteopathic physicians Ronald Klatz, D.O., and Robert Goldman, D.O., agreed to pay $5,000 each to the State of Illinois and to stop identifying themselves as M.D.s in Illinois unless authorized to do so by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. The agreement indicates that each acquired an "M.D." degree from the Central America Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Belize but was not licensed to use the credential in Illinois. The agreement also permits them to list the credential in their curriculum vitae as long as it does not closely follow their name.

Klatz and Goldman have been associated for many years in activities related to "anti-aging medicine" and the promotion of dietary supplements. The agreements, reproduced below, were identically worded except for their names and license numbers and the final sentence of Klatz's agreement, which is not in Goldman's agreement.


STATE OF ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION


CONSENT ORDER

The Department of Professional. Regulation by John Goldberg, one of its attorneys, and _______ Respondent, hereby agree to the following:

STIPULATIONS

_______ is licensed as a Physician and Surgeon in the State of Illinois, holding License No. ________ At all times material to this matter set forth in this Consent Order, the Department of Professional Regulation of the State ol Illinois had jurisdiction over the subject matter and parties herein.

Information has come to the attention of the Department that Respondent, who is a licensed osteopath, utilized the designation of M.D. in addition to that of D.O., the designation reflected by his licensure. Respondent received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1998 from the Central America Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Belize, an institution approved by the World Health Organization. However, said degree was never properly licensed through this Department, thereby, according to the Department, precluding the Respondent from identifying himself as an M.D.

The Department believes that allegation(s), as set forth herein, if proven to be true, would violate 225 Illinois Compiled Statutes (1998), Section 60/28 and therefore wou1d constitute grounds for suspending or revoking Respondent's license as a Physician and Surgeon on the authority of 225 Illinois Compiled Statutes (1998), Section 60/22(A), paragraph(s) 13.

As a result of the foregoing allegation(s), the Department held a Conference at the offices of the Department, 100 West Randolph Street, Suite 9-300, Chicago, Illinois 60601 on June 7, 2000. Respondent appeared in person on that date, represented by Anthony G. Barone. Virgil Wikoff, with. subsequent input from Sandra IF. Olson, M.D., participated as members of the Medical Disciplinary Board of the State of Illinois and John Goldberg appeared as an attorney for the Department.

Respondent admits that he utilized the designation but denies that the use violated any laws including 225 ILCS 60/28. However, the parties have reached an agreement to settle this dispute and Respondent accepts the following terms and conditions in settlement thereof.

Respondent has been advised of the right to have the pending allegation reduced to written charges, the right to a hearing, the tight to contest any charges brought and the right to administrative review of any Order resulting from a hearing. Respondent knowingly waives each of these rights, as well as any right to administrative review of this Consent Order.

Respondent and the Department have agreed, in order to resolve this matter, that ______ be permitted to enter into a Consent Order with the Department providing for the following:

CONDITIONS

WHEREFORE, the Department, through John Goldberg, its attorney, and Ronald Klatz, agree:

A. Respondent shall immediately Cease and Desist from identifying himself, in the State of Illinois, as an M.D. or otherwise utilizing said designation in the State of Illinois until such time as he becomes properly authorized to do so by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. This shall not preclude Respondent from listing his degree from Central America Health Sciences University in the educational part of his curriculum vitae or any similar document so long as the designation is not affixed to or immediately follows his name or any other designation such as D.O. affixed to his name.

B. Respondent shall pay Five Thousand ($5,000.00) Dollars to be remitted along with this executed Consent Order.

C. Any violation by Respondent of the terms and conditions of this Consent Order shall be grounds for the Department to immediately file a Complaint to revoke the Respondent's license to practice as a Physician and Surgeon in the State of Illinois.

D. This Consent Order shall become effective immediately after it is approved by the Director of the Department.

E. It is understood by the Department that Respondent has authored numerous books and other publications which are in print and in which the M.D. designation is used. Respondent is under contract with several different publishers relating to these books and publications. These contracts generally provide the publisher with the right to reprint books as well as provide the publishers with paperback and other rights. The use of the M.D. designation in any books or publications already in print as of the date of this Order, including reprints of said books and publications occurring after the date hereof, shall not constitute a violation of this Order. In addition, the terms of this Order shall not apply to the book "What's Eating You? " which is already under contract as of the date of this Order.

Dated this 6th day of December, 2000.

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This article was revised on March 6, 2001.