Renowned surgeon charged with beating his wife – again – was stripped of license long ago

10 09 2010

Newspapers reported this week that Michael Brown has been arrested and charged with beating his fourth wife. The arrest was not his first. In 2002 he was charged with beating his third wife – who was pregnant – with a broken bedpost.

A familiar face to TV viewers

You probably recognize Brown. Until his most recent arrest, he was featured in television advertisements for his Brown Hand Centers. Surrounded by his wife and children, he told viewers that “the Brown Hand Center will care for you, just as I care for my own family.”

But he is no longer licensed to practice medicine

Brown has not been licensed to practice medicine in Texas for years. The Texas Medical Board placed him on probation following the criminal charges in 2002 and then in 2006 the Board revoked his license after he tested positive for cocaine.

Interestingly, the website for the Brown Hand Centers states that Brown is “retired” from the practice of medicine. It fails to mention that he could not practice if he wanted to. (One wonders if the Board should do something about that.)

For more details on Brown’s discipline by the Board, go the Board’s website at www. and click on the tab labeled “Look Up a Licensee.”


Sitting down with the 900-pound gorilla

18 06 2010

The Informal Settlement Conference

If you are investigated by a state agency for an alleged violation of the regulations governing your profession, you probably will be invited to attend an Informal Settlement Conference. Plan to attend it, and prepare for it as though your professional life depended on it. Because it just might. The conference may be your last, best chance to put to bed any unfounded allegations.

How it works: The specific procedure for conferences varies from one agency to another. And the conferences at some agencies are more informal than at others. (For example, Informal Settlement Conferences at the Texas Medical Board are not informal by any stretch of the imagination.) But they all follow the same general script – typically the agency will have an investigator or prosecutor who will explain the allegations against you and describe the evidence to support them. The agency will then ask what you have to say for yourself. So the purpose of the conference is for the agency to size you up and hear your side of the story before it lowers the boom and imposes discipline against you.

It’s not going to be easy: Keep in mind that prior to the conference, the agency may have heard only bad things about you. For example, if the agency began its investigation of you in response to a complaint from a member of the public, the complainant likely painted a very unflattering picture. Probably exaggerated. Maybe even lied. So, to set the record straight, you may have your work cut out for you.

Know your case: Before you walk in that conference room door, you’ll want to know the facts of your case like the back of you hand. You’ll also want to understand the applicable law. Only then will you be equipped to show the agency that the complaint is unfounded and should be dismissed and that you should be allowed to return to the work that you were trained to do.










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