Board suspends holistic doctor's medical license

January 14, 1993|By Deidre Nerreau McCabe | Deidre Nerreau McCabe,Staff Writer

The state's regulatory board for doctors voted unanimously yesterday to suspend for 2 1/2 years the license of a holistic doctor in Laurel, but said he could regain his license sooner if independent peer reviews are favorable.

The decision drew an angry response from Dr. Ahmad Shamim, who has practiced medicine in Maryland for 25 years, and from his patients, who have threatened legal action against the board.

"They have shown a total disregard for the patients," said Dr. Shamim, a general practitioner who incorporates alternative medical treatments in his practice.

"I'm in a total state of shock. No one expected this," said Alice Reco, of Baltimore, a 13-year patient of Dr. Shamim's. She and other patients vowed to organize a class-action suit against the board, which they claim has violated their right to choose alternate medical care.

Dr. Shamim and his attorney, Henry E. Schwartz, said they would fight the board's decision, which goes into effect Saturday. Mr. Schwartz already had filed an appeal in Prince George's County Circuit Court, in case the board refused to stay the suspension, which was announced last month.

The board, which maintains Dr. Shamim has practiced incompetent medicine in a number of cases, said the 61-year-old doctor could regain his license after two peer reviews of his practice.

Dr. John F. Strahan, chairman of the six-member committee of the Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance, said both reviews, if expedited, could take a few months.

Dr. Shamim and Mr. Schwartz said they had not decided whether to submit to the peer reviews.

The board released a 96-page "final order" Dec. 14, calling for the suspension.

The "informal" conference yesterday was to give the doctor one last chance to prove he had changed his ways, board Chairman Dr. Israel H. Weiner said.

The order gave details from 33 of Dr. Shamim's cases, from 1984 and 1988, that the board says indicate the doctor mishandled treatment. It found, for example, that Dr. Shamim prescribed vitamin injections for patients without evidence of vitamin deficiency and ordered treatments without conducting tests to diagnose illnesses.

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