HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A Huntsville doctor’s license is suspended, meaning he cannot practice nor prescribe medication until he has a formal hearing in January.
The Medical Licensure Commission of the State of Alabama suspended Dr. Weston Welker’s medical license on Wednesday. Dr. Welker has practiced at Regional Spine & Wrist Center.
The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (BME) confirmed the state suspended his license after they filed charges last week. Those charges contained allegations of unprofessional conduct, including violating a board order and ‘failing to use medically appropriate risk and abuse mitigation strategies when prescribing controlled substances.’ The board also cited charges related to gross malpractice or gross negligence in the practice of medicine, and aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine.
WHNT News 19 has reported on Dr. Welker in the past. The board suspended his Alabama Controlled Substances Certificate in 2017 for allegedly overprescribing controlled substances. The Board was investigating Dr. Welker’s compliance with his probationary terms when it discovered evidence of the newly alleged offenses.
His case is one of nearly 200 prescribing-related cases the BME has investigated since 2014.
“This case should be a warning to physicians overprescribing opioids and other controlled substances,” BME General Counsel Wilson Hunter said. “Any physician who fails to prioritize patient safety or take common sense precautions to prevent diversion when prescribing controlled substances is at risk of losing his or her ability to practice medicine.”
BME offered patients this advice if they are patients of Dr. Welker:
My doctor’s license has been suspended. 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. Patients who have a primary care physician should contact him/her as soon as possible to alert him/her that they will need help continuing any treatment regimens being prescribed by the suspended physician.
A primary care physician should be able to continue most regimens, including controlled substance regimens, until an appropriate referral can be made. Patients who believe they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms should seek care from an emergency room.
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.
A suspended physician is obligated to follow all Board rules regarding the care of his patients, including the rules regarding the transfer of medical records and helping ensure their continuity of care. Failure to fulfill these obligations could lead to new charges being filed for patient abandonment.
If your physician will not transfer your medical records, please contact the Board of Medical Examiners at 334-242-4116.