State medical board suspends Dr. Michael Dick’s license

DECATUR, Ala. - Records show the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners  has issued a summary suspension of Decatur physician Dr. Michael Dick's medical license.

A board's spokesman confirmed Dr. Dick was served today. Dr. Dick is suspended from practicing until at least his next hearing set for January 23, 2019. He is ordered to go before the board, according to the order.

The board's website provides the following description of a summary suspension:

"If there is conduct that the Board believes is dangerous to public safety, it may file public, formal allegations with the Commission and request restrictions, revocation or other action against the physician’s license. Depending upon the urgency of the situation, the Board can request from the Commission a summary suspension of the physician’s license until the case can be heard by the Commission."

The board's action apparently follows an emergency meeting today. The temporary license suspension appears to mean Dr. Dick will not be allowed to see patients nor write prescriptions.

The board's action follows a hearing Wednesday where investigators reviewed the case against Dick, who was found guilty of harassment and pleaded guilty to two other harassment counts involving alleged incidents in his office.

In a release from the board, the members said the charges filed by the BME earlier this week contained allegations of sexual misconduct, including inappropriate physical contact with patients with no legitimate medical purpose. Those charges were posed along the three convictions of criminal offenses.

"We are thankful the Commission recognized the seriousness of the charges and the need to prohibit Dr. Dick’s ability
to practice until an administrative hearing can be held,” Wilson Hunter, BME General Counsel said

According to a Tuesday press release from the BME, the board has been investigating the allegations against Dr. Dick since February. The members said they worked closely with law enforcement to assist in the related criminal investigation. At the request of law enforcement, the BME delayed any official action against Dr. Dick until the resolution of the criminal case. That took place on September 28th and resulted in his conviction on three separate charges of harassment involving female patients.

“The last thing the BME wants to do is compromise a criminal investigation by one of our law enforcement partners,” Hunter said in the news release. “With that issue settled, it has cleared the way for the BME to move forward with filing charges and immediately suspending Dr. Dick’s medical license."

Dick's practice is Alabama Medicine and Rheumatology.

Dick has denied all accusations of inappropriate behavior.

The BME encourages patients who feel their doctor has crossed a line to reach out to the board. Patients are protected from retaliation under Alabama law.
“Obviously, we can’t be in every exam room with every patient, but if a physician takes advantage of the doctor-patient relationship we want to know about it,” Hunter said.

In Thursday's news release, the board included some information for patients:

My doctor has lost his license. Where do I get medical care?

Your doctor still has an obligation to provide for your care. If your doctor can no longer practice medicine, your doctor has an obligation to help you obtain care elsewhere.

My new doctor didn’t give me the same medicine my old doctor did. What should I do?

Every physician has the responsibility to take care of you to the best of his or her ability. That means the physician must make a judgment about what is needed to treat your condition.

Different physicians may treat the same medical conditions differently. Ask your new physician to explain why his or her treatment decision differs from your previous physician’s and to explain its pros and cons.

Remember: your physician is always trying to do what is best for you, but you always have the right to seek a second opinion or seek care elsewhere.

I can’t get my medical records from my old physician. What should I do?

You have a right to your medical records. Your old physician should arrange to provide them to you or transfer them
to the new physician of your choice. He or she may provide these at no cost or may charge a small processing fee.
Your physician’s duty to you continues even after he or she is disciplined or otherwise prohibited from practicing. If
your physician will not transfer your medical records, please contact the Board of Medical Examiners at 334-242-
4116.