1 STATE OF MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & ECONOMIC GROWTH BUREAU OF HEARINGS In the matter of Mohammad A. Adas, M.D., Petitioner v Bureau of Health Services, Respondent / Docket No Agency No Agency: Case Type: Department of Community Health Appeal Reinstatement Issued and entered this 13th day of February 2004 by J. Andre Friedlis Administrative Law Judge PROPOSAL FOR DECISION PROCEDURAL HISTORY: On May 2, 2003, Petitioner Mohammad A. Adas M.D. filed an Application for Reinstatement of his Michigan medical license. On June 30, 2003, Respondent, Department of Consumer and Industry Services (now known as Department of Labor & Economic Growth), Bureau of Health Services (now known as Bureau of Health Professionals), filed a statement taking no position on reinstating of Petitioner s license to practice medicine. Accordingly, a hearing was scheduled pursuant to MCL A Notice of Hearing was issued on December 19, Pursuant to the Notice, the hearing was held on January 15, Petitioner, Mohammad A. Adas, appeared. Also, Attorney Kenneth Phillips appeared on Petitioner s behalf. Assistant Attorney General Linda Craven appeared for Respondent.
2 Page 2 The record was left open for Petitioner to file a statement regarding Petitioner s compliance with the Ohio Medical Board requirements to practice medicine in that state. This report was filed on February 5, 2004, and supplemented on February 9, ISSUES and APPLICABLE LAW: Whether Petitioner meets the requirements of MCL for reinstatement of his medical license. This section requires Petitioner to demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that he is of good moral character, able to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients, that he has met the criteria in the guidelines established under MCL (6) of the Public Health Code and that he should be permitted, in the public interest, to resume medical practice. FINDINGS OF FACT: Petitioner s license to practice medicine in Michigan was summarily suspended on August 14, 2002, because Petitioner had pled guilty and was therefore convicted of Unlawful Blood Alcohol Content/Operating Under the Influence of liquor and Attempted Resisting and Obstructing a Police Officer, both misdemeanors in Ohio. On April 16, 2002, Petitioner was convicted of 7 felony counts of Complicity in the Commission of Practicing Medicine or Surgery Without a Certificate. On January 9, 2002, the Ohio State Medical Board indefinitely suspended Petitioner s Ohio medical license (Respondent Exhibit A). Subsequently, on December 16, 2002, Petitioner signed a Stipulation agreeing with the allegations of fact contained in the August 14, 2002, Michigan Administrative Complaint. As a
3 Page 3 result, also on December 16, 2002, the Michigan Board of Medicine suspended Petitioner s license for 6 months and one day. Petitioner was also fined $500. Petitioner is from Jordan. He received his medical education at the University of Rome and graduated in October He came to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio where he worked at the Cleveland Clinic. He became Board eligible but not Board certified in pathology after a 4-year residency program, completed in June Petitioner then decided to go into internal medicine, and took a 3-year residency at Toledo Medical College of Ohio, completed in June In September 1990, Petitioner, now Board certified in internal medicine, entered a group practice with 126 doctors. He remained in this practice until March 2000, when he began a solo practice. Petitioner acknowledged that his drinking had become a problem before he left the group practice and became worse after he entered solo practice. He had already had two Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol convictions. As a result of these convictions, he was ordered to go to Shepherd Hill Hospital for an evaluation. He was found to be alcohol dependent. Petitioner Exhibit 2 is a statement dated March 22, 2002 reporting on Petitioner s treatment. * * * The patient arrived at Shepherd Hill Hospital for a three-day evaluation and was found to be chemically dependent by the Shepherd Hill Treatment Team. The patient was then admitted to Shepherd Hill Hospital for treatment for Chemical Dependency on December 14, The patient was admitted to Residential Day Treatment. The patient completed his initial assignment, knowledge of the disease worksheet, Self-diagnosis worksheet, and Progression Curves and twenty-five consequences. The
4 Page 4 patient was then transitioned to Central Ohio Recovery Residencies (CORR) for extended care. While at CORR, the patient continued to work on goal work for his Master Treatment Plan (MTP). The patient completed goal work on cravings, cross addiction/cross tolerance, relapse patterns, Step I, Step II, Step III, Spirituality, Pathological Defenses, Family involvement, Sober Leisure Activities, Mirror Image, Ten-day therapeutic Leave (TL), Emotional Consequences, Professional Support, and Recovery Plan. The patient was also given goal work on selective honesty and difficulty following boundaries. This action was a result of the patient s difficulty in adhering to treatment boundaries. The patient was given a five-day TL to determine if he was willing to follow all Shepherd Hill boundaries, and Treatment Team recommendations. The patient returned after five days with a petition stating he was willing to follow all treatment boundaries. The patient s behavior was consistent with his petition. * * * The patient remained abstinent from all mood-altering chemicals as evident by his random Urine Drug Screens (UDS). The patient achieved the goal of education in understanding that chemical dependency in a disease. The patient developed a self-diagnosis based upon the physical symptoms of chemical dependency. The patient demonstrated a responsibility to selftreatment of his disease. Prognosis of this patient is good, as long as he is able to follow his recovery plan. Therefore patient is discharged, treatment complete. Petitioner Exhibit 3 is a statement showing Petitioner s compliance with after care requirements after leaving the inpatient program. This statement from counselor William Kunkle dated October 11, 2002, states that Petitioner attends Support Group Attendance 7 times per week, Physician Group Meetings once per week, and counseling once per week.
5 Page 5 states: Petitioner Exhibit 9, also prepared by counselor Kunkle dated July 16, 2003 * * * Dr. Mohammed Adas has been in the Toledo Hospital Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center s Relapse Prevention Group for Recovering Physicians, also known as the Caduceus Group since leaving his primary treatment in Atlanta in Dr. Adas is an active member, rarely missing a session unless he is at a continuing education seminar, out of town. He is toxicology tested by Dr. Ram Reddy on a no prior notice, random weekly basis. Those samples are mailed to the Ohio Physician s Effectiveness Program s (OPEP) lab in New York City and the results filed in the Columbus OPEP Office. This lab monitoring and the aftercare class will be continued for a total of 5 years. Dr. Adas is in close contact with his Alcoholics Anonymous Sponsor, Neil S., the OPEP Field Supervisor, Ed Poczekaj, CCDC III E and myself. I frequently see Dr. Adas in town participating in AA meetings and is now sponsoring other newly recovering men, mentoring them in their new sobriety as Neil provided for him. Required to go to three AA meetings per his Ohio State Medical Board Contract, he regularly goes to 7-8 per week and often 10 per week. Whereas, Dr. Adas has been an open and willing participant in his recovery, he needs to return to work and his place in society. Since first becoming a counselor in 1974, I have seen many not comply or do just the minimal effort. Dr. Adas has not been in that category. He has exceeded his requirements and expectations and seems to have truly embraced recovery. * * * Petitioner also spent 67 days in jail from May 21 through July 31, This was a treatment facility called New Beginnings. Although he was given a period of probation lasting 5 years, two weeks ago the Judge terminated his probation after 1 and ½ years based
6 Page 6 on his good compliance record. See Petitioner Exhibits 7 and 8. Since his Ohio license suspension in January 2002, Respondent Exhibit A, Petitioner has visited his Board compliance officer every three months and provided evidence of his AA attendance, urine test results, and reports from his monitor, Dr. Ram Reddy. There has never been a positive finding for alcohol during this time. Petitioner goes to AA meetings 7 times each week and once each week to caduceus meetings. He has been in compliance with the Ohio Board s Order since it was issued in January Petitioner currently works with his brother running a gas station in Southfield Michigan. Petitioner goes to this station 3 days each week. Petitioner is married and has 4 children. His wife also works as an office manager in a psychiatrist s office in Ohio. Petitioner last met with the Ohio Board on January 13, His license is suspended until January 8, At that time, he can file a request for reinstatement of his Ohio license. However, the Board meets every three months and could end his suspension earlier. This would allow him to reapply sooner than January The statement dated February 6, 2004 from the Ohio State Medical Board states that Petitioner is in compliance with the terms of his January 10, 2003 Board Order as of the date of this letter. If his Michigan license were reinstated, Petitioner would consider moving to Michigan. His brother lives in Farmington Hills. Petitioner has been in touch with a doctor friend who has told him of the need for a primary care physician in a Detroit clinic near the Wayne State University Medical School. Petitioner would like to work in a clinic addressing chronic care needs where he can also teach.
7 Page 7 CONCLUSIONS OF LAW: Petitioner bears the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that he meets the following requirements for reinstatement of her license under MCL referenced above. In addition, Administrative Rule R (2) places the burden of proof on the Petitioner, 1996 AACS R (2). Good Moral Character Petitioner must demonstrate that he possesses the requisite good moral character to practice nursing. The phrase good moral character is defined at MCL (1). This statutory provision provides, in part, as follows: Sec. 1. The phrase good moral character... when used as a requirement for an occupational or professional license...shall be construed to mean the propensity on the part of the person to serve the public in the licensed area in a fair, honest, and open manner. Petitioner spoke openly about his alcohol addiction. He stated that he is an alcoholic in recovery. He acknowledged that alcohol is a disease; it isn t curable but it is treatable. He actively participates with AA and is a sponsor to others. The 12-step program addresses his life issues. He now has peace of mind. If he does what he can do and does the right thing, the rest will take care of itself. He now has the tools and the program to stay sober. This attitude as expressed in an honest open manner at the hearing shows that Petitioner has the required moral character as defined above. The letters of support marked as Petitioner Exhibit 10 support this conclusion.
8 Page 8 Ability To Practice Before Petitioner s license can be reinstated, he must demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that he is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients. Based on Petitioner s testimony and in light of the above Findings of Fact, I find that Petitioner is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety. Although Petitioner s license was suspended by Ohio in January 2002, and by Michigan in December 2002, he has continued to educate himself to the extent possible by attending classes and working with the doctors at the Reynolds Clinic in Toledo Ohio once or twice per week. At this clinic, Petitioner goes around with the doctors much as a student would do, and in this manner he is able to observe out-patient and urgent care cases. In addition to this exposure, Petitioner reads medical journals the Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Journal of Medicine, and articles from the Mayo Clinic. Petitioner testified that he has 100-hours of continuing education. These are detailed in Petitioner Exhibit 5 and include: 1. Spring Update in Internal Medicine, May 1, 2003; 2. OHEP Intensive Internal Medicine Board Review, June 2003; 3. He enrolled in an Executive MBA program at the University of Toledo for the first quarter ; 4. Managing Post-MI Patient: Advances in Cardiovascular Diseases, June 21, 2003; 5. Internal Medicine Board Review, June 2003; 6. Mental Health Services and the Muslim American Community: Cultural Considerations, June 2003;
9 Page th Annual Hot Topics in Neurology: The Headache Challenge, May 2003; 8. Petitioner also attends noon conferences offered each day at hospitals in Ohio. Compliance With Section 16245(6) Guidelines Before Petitioner s licenses can be reinstated, he is also obligated to demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that he has satisfied the guidelines adopted by the Department under Section 16245(6) and issued November 4, The guidelines provide in pertinent part: 1. The applicant has participated in one or more community service or professional volunteer activities or programs since the revocation or suspension of his or her license or registration. Petitioner volunteers at the Focus Health Care in Maumee, Ohio, where he works with alcoholics. He also volunteers at the Toledo Hospital Drug and Alcohol Treatment facility. He spent 100-hours doing community service under a court order at the St. Paul Community Church shelter house where he counseled addicts. He currently sponsors three people through AA. As noted above Petitioner attends AA programs 7 times each week, as well as once per week to a caduceus meeting. 2. The applicant has participated in inpatient or outpatient treatment for mental, psychological, emotional and/or physical disorders.... The material submitted above shows that the Petitioner has gone through an inpatient treatment program and continues to attend AA meetings. He reports to the Ohio
10 Page 10 Board every three months and provides the results of all alcohol tests and AA attendance. 4. The applicant has complied with all terms of his or her order of discipline, including payment of fines and costs as set forth in said order. Petitioner paid the $500 fine assessed by the Michigan Board. 5. The applicant has successfully completed one or more continuing education programs during the period of suspension or revocation, or consumed current literature concerning the practice of his or her particular profession. Petitioner has continued to attend continuing education classes as set forth above. He has also remained up to date by reading medical literature and going to the Reynolds Clinic once or twice per week. He is also preparing to take a Special Practicing Examination. Petitioner will take further exams or training as required by the Board. 6. The applicant has participated in didactic or clinical training, including remedial education in areas previously found deficient, or successfully completed an overall refresher course if the applicant has been out of practice for a significant period of time. Petitioner s clinical abilities have not been called into question. He has continued to take classes to improve his skills. These are set forth above. 7. The applicant has submitted an assessment or evaluation of the applicant s professional skills and knowledge by an individual or entity who is trained or otherwise qualified to make such an evaluation. Petitioner has submitted statements from several individuals contained in Petitioner Exhibit 10. Many more are attached to his application. These letters all attest to Petitioner s skill, kindness, and sobriety.
11 Page The applicant desires in good faith to be restored to the privilege of practicing his or her profession in Michigan. Petitioner s testimony satisfies this requirement. Petitioner desires to relocate to Michigan and practice in a clinic near the Wayne State University Medical School. He acknowledges that he is an alcoholic in recovery. He is a Board Certified Doctor in Internal Medicine who made a mistake but who has been well trained to practice medicine. Public Interest Finally, in order to have his license reinstated, Petitioner must show that he should be permitted, in the public interest, to have his license restored. Petitioner has expressed remorse. Petitioner seems to have gotten his life back on track and appears to desire reinstatement of his license as way to return to his prior status as a physician. I believe that it is in the public interest to restore Petitioner s license. This is especially the case since he desires to work in a clinic near the Wayne State University Medical School. Accordingly, I recommend that Petitioner s medical license be reinstated subject to conditions set by the Board. PROPOSED DECISION: I recommend the Board reinstate Petitioner s medical license subject to those conditions the Board deems fair and appropriate.
12 Page 12 EXCEPTIONS: The parties may file exceptions to this Proposed Decision within fifteen days of its date. The opposing party may file a response to any such exceptions within five days after receipt of said exceptions. Any such exceptions should be submitted to the opposing party and to: Bureau of Health Services c/o Robert C. Miller Ottawa State Office Bldg., 1 st Floor PO Box Lansing, MI J. Andre Friedlis Administrative Law Judge