Do you remember reading about the gastroenterologist in Las Vegas, Dr. Dipak Desai and his Shadow Lane Clinic? You know… the doctor whose patients (numbering in the thousands) were advised by health authorities to undergo testing for hepatitis and HIV. Authorities investigating a cluster of hepatitis C cases observed clinic nurses reusing syringes in a manner that contaminated vials of medication and infected patients.
Two interesting discoveries have come to light since this news broke in February. First, Judy Witman, one of his medical technicians, became concerned about Dr. Desai’s professionalism years ago. Witman, who now works for a Pennsylvania hospital, quit her job at Desai’s clinic after a few months and notified the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners about Desai’s behavior in 1989. Guess what? Her phone call was never returned by the Board of Medical Examiners.
The second interesting fact? Dr. Desai was very active in the tort reform movement. He contributed $25,000 to the Keep Our Doctors in Nevada lobbying effort — the largest donation in the state! But it paid off — as voters agreed with physicians that it should be much more difficult for individuals to sue doctors for malpractice.
Maybe he knew his contributions would help him keep his license in the future!