A Santa Ana ophthalmologist surrendered his license to practice medicine effective 5 p.m. May 20 after a California Medical Board sting that concluded he prescribed medical marijuana without being present at patient evaluations.
Posing as patients with the pseudonyms David John Le and Woody Glenn Daniels, medical board investigators—responding to “complaints” and wired for sound and video—told of suffering migraine headaches to Dr. Marc Richard Rose , who operated Anaheim’s OC Medical Center, in August and October of 2012.
But Rose was not in the evaluation room, instead communicating with each patient via Skype, according to the medical board.
Brief social and surgical histories were taken, and the phony patients were asked about diabetes and high blood pressure, but neither was given a physical during their appointments, which each lasted less than three minutes, the investigation concluded.
But OC Medical Center records showed that Rose did perform physicals, specifically checking the patients’ heads, eyes, ears, noses, throats, hearts, lungs, intestines, extremities, muscles and skins. All were reported to be normal.
After their appointments, each patients was given the doctor’s one-year recommendation for medical marijuana, the state board found.
The standard of medical care in California calls for taking extensive medical histories, performing a complete physical examination and setting a treatment plan with goals before prescribing medical cannabis, the board says. A full doctor-patient discussion about marijuana, a tracking of medical progress and later consultations, if needed, are also required, according to the investigation.
None of these were present in the government agents’ visits, the board concluded.
Without more information to go on, Rose should not have prescribed marijuana, which is supposed to be given to patients suffering serious or—ahem—chronic medical problems, the board states.
After the investigation led to a complaint being filed against Rose in 2014, the doctor conceded neither “patient” was seriously ill, according to the board.
Rose agreed to and signed the suspension order that has him losing all his rights and privileges as a physician.