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State of New York Department of Health
State Board for Professional Medical Conduct

In the Matter of Irving I. Dardik, M.D.
Determination of the Hearing Committee as to Penalty

March 22, 1995.

The Hearing Committee notes that prior to his involvement with his wavenergy program, the Respondent had achieved some measure of success as a vascular surgeon and medical researcher. He was familiar with the funding, validation, and promotion of new scientific theories through peer review methods. Approaches to potential colleagues and supporters through these channels did not, however, result in acceptance of his theory.

The Respondent cooperated in the publication of an article in New York Magazine in 1991, which resulted in considerable public interest, and attracted, among others, the four MS patients who testified in these proceedings. Although Respondent testified at the hearing that he still considers his program to be "in evolution," five highly credible witnesses presented by the State testified that the Respondent promised to cure their MS. Dr. Dardik's enthusiasm for his program, and his history as a physician with achievements in medicine and in the Olympics Sports Medicine Committee led these patients to believe that, although his fees were high, his intensive involvement in their care, and their adherence to his wavenergy program would successfully treat a disease they had previously believed to be incurable.

The Respondent testified at great length about his theory, and presented supporting documents which included an article published in a journal called Cycles, which journal was not previously known to the members of the Committee. He also presented extensive papers from the literature of physics and the natural sciences to explain his work.

The path taken by Respondent in trying to gain acceptance for his theory, as well as his deviations from proper patient care, led this Hearing Committee to wonder about Respondent's mental health. Yet despite extensive use of made-up words, such as wavenergy, superlooping, matterspacetime, and frequent loose associations and expansive digressions in response to questions, the Respondent. could always return to the subject when prompted, and he retained the capacity to understand the questioner (usually a member of the panel) in an objective manner. Although his presentation at times became "manic" in its intensity, he was able to retain relevancy in his responses, occasionally with humor, and he was never out of control. His physical appearance was consistently well groomed, and his affect and interactions were always appropriate to the instant events of the proceeding.

It is not the task of the Hearing Committee to make judgments or evaluate the merits of Respondent's theory, but rather to evaluate whether, as a physician, he followed the standards of patient care he was well familiar with from his practice of vascular surgery.

In this respect, the Respondent was severely deficient. He did not take medical histories, perform physical examinations, or keep medical records for these patients in a form which could be, useful to them, or to another physician in case the need arose. He had no back-up physician, and testimony supported in great detail his failure to respond to his patients' telephone calls, and their repeated requests for the personal intervention in their care that he had promised them.

This Committee does not conclude that there was sufficient evidence presented to find that Dr. Dardik is morally unfit to practice medicine. Nonetheless, it is especially troubling to the Committee that Dr. Dardik uses many of the traditional tools of the physician-patient relationship to enhance the acquisition of patients to his program, and to increase his credibility to patients. He made no effort to distance himself from his status as a physician, maintaining the M.D. title on correspondence, assisting patients' attempts to obtain insurance reimbursement, and even occasionally prescribing medication for a patient. Although he testified that the program is still in development, and the written contracts sent to two patients, which were submitted in evidence, supported that status, there is a striking discrepancy between his testimony and contracts and the highly credible patient witnesses who stated unequivocally that he promised to "cure" their disease.

Therefore, based on the above, the Committee unanimously votes that this conduct warrants revocation of Respondent's license to practice medicine in the State of New York.

Order

Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby ordered that

  1. Respondent's license to practice medicine in the State of New York is hereby revoked.

Dated: New York, New York, March 22, 1995

Richard N. Pierson, M.D. Chairperson
Leo Fishel, M. D.
Morton M. Kleinman

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