Duke's quack doc Anil Potti gets MD license in South Carolina and treats cancer patients again

Search words Duke University Anil Potti

✔✔✔ Good day fellow Dukies

Dr. Anil Potti -- the once promising star of Duke Medicine who faked a Rhodes Scholarship and his cancer research -- has ended his self-imposed exile.

Potti -- who resigned from Duke last November amid a fast growing scandal and at least two investigations -- had secluded himself at his Chapel Hill home.

Now, a Loyal Reader who is the brother of one of the people Potti enrolled in a worthless genome science clinical trial of chemotherapy for breast cancer at Duke, has discovered Potti has applied for and been granted an MD license by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners.

Potti promptly got a job, with a group practice called Coastal Cancer Center, based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The center has several other satellite locations in the state as well. It was founded by Dr. Lawrence B. Holt Jr., who graduated from Duke Medical School in 1977. That was long before Potti's arrival in 2000. Holt did not respond to e-mail sent by Fact Checker.

The Coastal Cancer Center treats patients, and also does research and conducts clinical trials. That information, from their website, prompted the brother of Potti's patient at Duke to declare, "I hope that he does not cause further injury to those patients."

✔ After Potti was exposed, he was suspended without pay, then a vice dean of the medical school admitted Duke screwed up and should have picked up on warning signals and never allowed him to perform clinical trials, which is a nice way of saying experiments on human beings. Potti resigned voluntarily (and it was voluntarily according to an unimpeachable source) as the heat grew.

One of Potti's key collaborators in many published articles has taken the lead in having several of them withdrawn; we do not know the status of an even larger number of articles that were not withdrawn.

There are at least two investigations: one that Duke sought out by the Institute of Medicine, which, quite frankly, FC is disappointed in. It turns out that all the key people at Duke Medicine are members of the Institute, and that overall, we represent about 95 of 2,000 members. Hardly an outside investigation, independent and unimpeded as it has been touted. Moreover, the Institute has veered from an examination of Potti's conduct into larger questions in the field of genome science; there is validity to this, but not if it obfuscates the Potti probe.

Duke has also launched an internal faculty misconduct investigation. This is behind closed doors, so tight that we cannot even report who is under investigation. In one e-mail to the medical community, Chancellor Victor Dzau mentioned Potti's mentor, Dr. Joseph Nevins. And the Dean of the Medical School, Dr. Nancy Andrews, recused herself from Potti Mess matters (FC confirmed this) because her husband, Bernard Mathey-Prevot, Ph.D, did research with and published with Potti; whether he's the subject of an investigation is anyone's guess.

Potti enjoyed huge research grants. The American Cancer Society demanded its money back -- and Duke complied. Other funds were also in doubt.

We do not know the responsibility of a medical institution such as Duke to report chaos as in the Potti Mess. We do know that all of this left Potti's medical license in North Carolina unblemished.

✔✔✔ To acquire a medical license in South Carolina, Potti had to fill out a 19 page form that seems quite tight. The licensing board makes clear its responsibility is to enforce the state's Medical Practice Act, noting "This includes illegal, unethical or incompetent conduct."

In addition to letters of recommendation from three doctors who know the applicant, there is a personal interview, a formal criminal background check through the FBI, and the requirement that the applicant disclose any malpractice claim, suit or settlement.

There is also a requirement that all other medical licenses must be disclosed, and here FC has discovered a new Potti Mess mystery. Not the first, probably not the last. Potti told South Carolina authorities he not only holds a license in North Carolina, but one in Minnesota and Missouri as well.

We knew about Minnesota before, acquired for unknown reasons while he was a resident at the University of North Dakota, raising questions of why Minnesota. That license was cancelled, Potti in good standing, because of the passage of time.

But we did not know anything about the Missouri license before, nor does his resume allow any time for him to be anywhere near the state. And if that weren't enough, the Missouri licensing board's website fails to turn up the name Potti, active or inactive.

✔The South Carolina board specifically notes it will not license a doctor "whose license is currently revoked, suspended, restricted in any way, or on probationary status in that state; or ... who currently has disciplinary action pending in any state."

Another question: "Have you ever had any hospital privileges denied, revoked, suspended or restricted in any way?"

Another: 'Have you ever resigned from any hospital, institution or health care facility in lieu of disciplinary action?"

And this: "Are you currently under investigation or the subject of pending disciplinary action by any Medical Licensing Board, health care facility or other entity?"

And this too: "Have you ever discontinued the practice of medicine for any reason for one month or more?"

✔✔As for what may lie ahead, South Carolina provides "A licensee shall notify the board within thirty (30) days of any adverse disciplinary action by another United States or foreign licensing jurisdiction, a peer review group, a health care institution, a professional or medical society or association, a governmental agency, a law enforcement agency, including arrest, or a court, including indictment."

Thank you for reading FC.

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