You may think, by reading the title of this week’s blog, that this is a story about an elderly individual being coerced into retirement because of his or her age. However, as Mark Hayward explains on UnionLeader.com, New London, New Hampshire physician, Dr. Anna M. Konopka is being forced by the state to surrender her medical license because it trusts an electronic system over her professional judgement.
Sounds odd, doesn’t it? According to Hayward, Dr. Konopka opened a pediatric and internal medicine practice in 1989 and has an excellent track record. Not only has she never been sued for malpractice, but there is no evidence that even the slightest complaint from a patient has been lodged against her.
She did, however, receive a reprimand from the Board of Medicine last May. Hayward explains that one of Dr. Konopka’s patients – a child she had been treating since his infancy – was prescribed a medication for his bronchitis. Dr. Konopka made the prescription without consulting a specialist first. She also failed to record the patient’s weight and height, leaving the dosage decisions up to the patient’s parents. The child, however, was better within three days.
The state’s problem, it seems has more to do with the fact that Dr. Konopka is too old school. As Hayward explains, she operates her medical office all on her own, without any nurses, assistants or secretaries. In addition, she treats patients who can’t afford Obamacare or expensive prescriptions and only charges $50 for each office visit.
But here’s the kicker that seems to have pushed the state of New Hampshire to insist that she relinquish her medical license. She thinks for herself. Yes, you read that right. The state, it appears, insists upon the use of “electronic medicine” over personal medical judgement.
“I cannot practice medicine because the system practices with electronics,” Dr. Konopka reveals in Hayward’s article, “The computer is giving the diagnosis and telling them what medicine to prescribe. They practice medicine, and I practice medical art. They manage the patient, and I treat the patient.” After 49 years of practicing medicine in New Hampshire, Dr. Konopka will see her last patient on October 13th.
She believes, however, that there’s more to it than the fact that she isn’t up on the latest technologies used in the world of medicine. Quite simply, she believes that New London Hospital wants all of her patients. The veteran doctor has apparently been warding off the state for the past four years. Dr. Konopka finally signed an agreement with the state so that she wouldn’t be stripped of her license before being able to treat her patients one last time.
“She refused to sign any agreement in which she admitted to misconduct,” informs Hayward, “Under the terms of the surrender, Konopka can get her license back. But she would have to start as a new applicant, and she would have to address the allegations of record-keeping, prescribing and medical decision-making.”
After October 13th, Dr. Konopka’s patients – to the tune of about 25 to 30 every week – will have to seek medical help elsewhere. Many have expressed a preference for the veteran physician over hospitals that have given elaborate diagnoses and prescriptions for therapy and specialist treatments that do little good. The team, at Allegiant Experts wishes her the best!
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