(Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. Statements in this blog post are based on online resources which are credited, as well as personal experience and observations.)
This post was revised at 12:55 p.m. on January 29, 2019, to reflect a change in the Los Angeles Times report.
Early this morning, Los Angeles Times journalist Soumya Karlamangla posted a disturbing account of apparent negligence by a physician, William Eidelman, whose license was revoked this month by the Medical Board of California. A link to her article appears at the end of this post.
Dr. Eidelman was also the subject of a previous Medical Board action, in 2004. Documentation of the 2004 action is available at http://www2.mbc.ca.gov/BreezePDL/document.aspx?path=%5cDIDOCS%5c20171018%5cDMRAAAGO7%5c&did=AAAGO171018225027371.DID
In this instance, the patient is four years old, and may or may not have issues with abnormal hyperactivity. Dr. Eidelman prescribed marijuana cookies to calm him, and became the subject of the recent Medical Board investigation after a school nurse contacted Los Angeles County’s Child Protective Services.
The report in the L.A. Times is disturbing. The description of a quick evaluation, evidently without the doctor referring to recent medical or school records, suggests he prescribes medical marijuana easily.
Medical marijuana was legalized by California’s voters in 1996, although the legal status of the treatment has been through hurdles with the federal government since. Source: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
Dr. Eidelman was first licensed to practice medicine in California in 1976, one year after graduating from Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Source: Medical Board of California website, via dca.ca.gov
Whether Dr. Eidelman is currently allowed to practice medicine in California is in dispute. He says the revocation was stayed by a Superior Court Judge, but as of 11:20 this morning the Medical Board’s website listed his status as “License Revoked.”
Personally, I’d never trust this doctor with my care or the care of anyone I’m responsible for, based on the information in the Times article.
While Dr. Eidelman claims to specialize in nontraditional medicine, my own doctor (in San Francisco) demonstrates a balance between conventional and unconventional treatments which have protected my health well. My doctor prescribes antibiotics and tranquilizers sparingly, and when necessary. He also recommends a couple of things I can get at the health food store. He hasn’t written a medical marijuana letter for me, but so far I haven’t needed that particular treatment so he and I haven’t discussed his “spliff” policy (British slang for a marijuana cigarette). Any doctor who goes inordinately far with any ideology probably can’t address many of my health issues, but I won’t attempt to speak for other patients.
That said, we should always be ready to think while reading a news article or watching or listening to a newscast. During the 1990s, a friend of mine was the subject of a false accusation which was reported convincingly in a Northern California newspaper. Through nightmarish experience, I’ve learned to be skeptical of news reports.
Please keep an open mind regarding this anonymous child’s situation. Sensitive children can have problems they don’t know how to articulate, and those problems can’t be addressed until a trusted adult is aware of a lot of things. At least on the surface, it looks as if no professional has spent enough time with this boy to learn what’s at the root of his distress, or to determine if his distress is outside the norm for kids his age.
The boy’s father may have acted in good faith, especially when you consider that the father admits suffering from ADHD and bipolar disorder himself. The father was treated previously by the same doctor.
Below, I’ll share the link to Soumya Karlamangla’s article, as well as a screenshot of Dr. Eidelman’s status on the Medical Board’s site, saved at 11:20 this morning. A second internet search at 1:23 p.m. confirmed that the site’s license statement for Dr. Eidelman has not changed.