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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Neuropsychiatry, Pediatrics

Geier’s Medical License Suspended

Geier’s Medical License Suspended

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A big HT to the neurodiversity weblog on this story.

The medical license of Mark Geier, MD, PhDwhose dubious studies of and conclusions about autism (particularly with respect to the thoroughly debunked risks of vaccination) have been criticized ad nauseum at this blogwas suspended in Maryland. The state’s medical board issued its 48-page order last week, April 27th.

The board concluded “that the public health, safety, or welfare required emergency action.” The board’s review was prompted by complaints from a concerned citizen (in 2006), a referring pediatrician (in 2008), and the mother of a former patient (in 2008). In October of last year, a “peer review” was conducted of 9 of 11 patient cases referred by the board.*

Among the board’s peer-reviewed findings:

  • Mark Geier falsely claimed to be a board-certified geneticist and board-certified epidemiologist.
  • He “misdiagnosed six (6) of the nine (9) autistic children…with precocious puberty,” whose care was reviewed.
  • He treated these misdiagnosed children with Lupron or chelation therapy or both, which “exposed the children to needless risk of harm.”
  • Mark Geier’s “assessment and treatment of autistic children…far exceeds his qualifications and expertise.” Moreover, his ordering of laboratory tests was determined to be “outside the standard of quality care,” and he “failed to conduct adequate physical examinations of any of the patients…” (It is noted in at least one instance that Mark Geier recommended Lupron therapy on the sole basis of a phone consultation.)
  • Mark Geier “failed to provide adequate informed consent to the parents of the autistic children he treated.”

In summary, the board wrote,

The Respondant [Mark Geier] endangers autistic children and exploits their parents by administering to the children a treatment protocol that has a known substantial risk of serious harm and which is neither consistent with evidence-based medicine nor generally accepted in the relevant scientific community.

A “post-deprivation” hearing has been scheduled for May 11th, and Geier may request an “evidentiary hearing” if he is dissatisfied with the result.

The order also reveals that Mark Geier holds licenses to practice medicine in numerous other states, including California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington. Reciprocity actions in these states are unclear (to me); some license suspensions may be automatic, others may require hearings. 

The board’s order also strongly suggests that Mark Geier’s son, David, who has only a bachelor’s degree, is practicing medicine (ie, making diagnoses) without medical training or licensure. Nevertheless the board did not comment further on any actions against David Geier for this presumed unlicensed activity.**

The published work of Mark Geier (along with that of his son, David) has been criticized extensively at this blog and elsewhere (for relevant posts at Pathophilia, search for “Geier.”)

* The peer-review organization declined to offer an opinion in 2 cases, citing that the care provided was beyond their scope of expertise. (Ha. Would it be that Mark Geier had the same reservations in judgment.)

** It is not clear if unlicensed medical practice in Maryland is within the scope of the medical board or if it is the purview of the state’s criminal justice system.

05/05/11 update: The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation could only suspend Mark Geier’s Illinois medical license if there was an “imminent danger” to Illinois patients or if the Maryland board takes permanent action (presumed here to be license revocation). This information came by way of Sue Hofer, the public information officer for the IDPR.

The IDPR’s website indicates that “Mark Robin Geier” obtained a physician license in Illinois on October 30, 2008, which expires July 31, 2014. 

Online searches for Mark Geier’s medical licenses at other state’s web sites provide the following information, tabulated by Pathophilia:

State

Issue Date

Expiration Date

California

07/01/2010

05/31/2012

Florida

12/17/2008

01/31/2013

Hawaii

11/07/2008

01/31/2012

Illinois

10/30/2008

07/31/2014

Indiana

10/10/2008

  09/23/2009*

06/30/2011

06/30/2011

Kentucky

01/05/2010

02/29/2012

Maryland

09/20/1979

Suspended 04/27/2011

Missouri

10/14/2009

01/31/2012

New Jersey

04/02/2009

06/30/2011

Virginia

10/01/1992

05/31/2012

Washington

12/01/2008

05/03/2013

* For “CSR-Physician.”

bmartin (1127 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.