I sent each of the following Representatives at the Texas House of Representatives these suggestions after calling them and informing them the hearings were being held next Wednesday:  Chairman SC on Regulatory Agencies (of Appropriations) Fred Brown, Vice Chair Jose Menendez, Committee Member Representatives Drew Darby, Eddie Lucio, Larry Taylor; visitors Representatives Debbie Riddle and Carl Isett.  I was unable to contact Representative Van Arsdale’s office so I will postpone sending him a copy.  I sent copies to my own Representative Geanie Morrison and my own Senator Glenn Hegar.

Please contact your Texas representative and Texas senator.  Encourage them to send a staff person to the hearings or to attend themselves.  To find out who your representative is google [texas house of representatives] and go to the House website.

Dear Representative Brown. 

I have recommendations for process changes that will improve effectiveness of this medical board while enabling it to better fulfill its mission of protecting the health of Texans.

1.  Give every doctor licensed in Texas, formerly licensed in Texas, or waiting for a Texas license an email address of this format:  firstname.lastname. degree.DOB@ tmb.state. tx.us

For me this would be shirley.pigott. md.1948@tmb. state.tx. us

Begin offering doctors the option of using this email address to communicate with the board.  Let doctors claim up to 5 hours of CME (Continuing Medical Education) of the 50 required per year to help other doctors learn how to do this when needed. Because it would cause a problem if doctors had to remember to check this email address, one of the things we would need to learn how to do would be to forward email from this address to a preferred email account.

Publicize the availability of this option through the TMB newsletter.   Ask the medical professional organizations to assist in the publicity. 

Give doctors annual CME credit, say 5 hours a year, for setting up this account as an incentive.  I believe this would help doctors who don’t know how to use the Internet get comfortable with it. 

Let doctors report CME through the Internet using this email address.  That would make documentation easier for the doctor and the TMB. It would also encourage the use of the Internet for CME which opens the door for fantastic CME at low or no cost.  Medical professional organizations are likely to oppose this because they make a lot of money by offering CME.  In my opinion, the CME offered by these organizations is vastly inferior to CME available on the Internet.

Begin sending TMB newsletters by email when possible, especially to physicians. Decrease the size of the newsletter.  It is mostly worthless anyway, in my opinion.

The TMB is likely to oppose this because increased use of the Internet will lead to changes that will make them more accountable.  Because they like to abuse their power, I predict they will oppose such changes. I have suggested some of these changes to TMB members.  They have ignored me, or complimented me on my ideas, but not implemented any of them.

2.  Record all phone calls to the TMB “for quality control and training”.  This will eliminate many abuses.  It will also reveal that the TMB is usually unavailable for communication with the public.  The TMB is likely to oppose this for these reasons.

3.  Ensure that all informal settlement conferences are open for attendance by anyone of the physician’s choice.  Require all informal settlement conferences to be recorded on video.  Many abuses will be eliminated if this is done.

4.  Have Homeland Security review and clear all applicants for licensing and document country of origin and whatever else is relevant to insure security.

5.  Each Texas representative should have access to one hour of online training as to how the Texas Medical Board is supposed to work.  All doctors should be able to access the same training and have the option to use it for one hour of CME.

6.  I became interested in the Texas Medical Board and its abuses because of my own experience with sham peer review.  All TMB members and Texas representatives should have access to one hour of training in sham peer review.  Doctors should have access to the same training and should have the option to claim one hour of CME.

7.  Texas Medical Board Watch is developing an example protocol which we want to make available to physicians who face issues with the TMB.  I am testing some of the first steps now.  Each doctor should be made aware that the Texas House of Representatives is interested in having a medical board which fulfills its mission, follows due process, and does not abuse its power.

The first step of our protocol will be to educate doctors on Items #1 – #6.  Next we encourage doctors to write an affidavit regarding their issues.  We encourage them to contact their Texas representatives and provide them with the affidavit.

I recommend that the House Committee on Public Health be invited to these hearings. 

I would be happy to assist in developing the educational materials I recommend in #5 and #6.  Whoever develops it, I would suggest that it be reviewed by Texas Medical Board Watch prior to implementation.

Please note that I have recommended changes in processes that will make the TMB more effective.  These process changes should, I expect, improve the function of the Texas Medical Board even if the same arrogant TMB members remain in power.

There is good evidence that process changes are more effective than punitive changes for the purpose of improving productivity and decreasing wastes.  There is also good evidence that improved transparency in government and listening to whistleblowers are both useful measures in decreasing fraud in government.  I doubt there is any evidence that this current Texas Medical Board protects the health of Texans.  Because it is retaliatory, harsh, unreasonable, capricious, and inconsistent, in my opinion, this TMB deprives Texans of good medical care, increases healthcare costs, and runs good doctors out of medical practice and out of Texas. 

During the past two years the retaliation against me I have endured by this medical board has almost destroyed my medical practice.  It has caused considerable hardship on me, my family, and my patients.

Please review my public disciplinary order in a recent TMB newsletter.  You can find it by googling [tmb.state pigott].  I have one more frivolous complaint currently under investigation by this board and am experiencing, I believe, retaliation through the Texas Department of Public Safety because of my efforts in exposing abuse by the TMB.

Sincerely,

Shirley Pigott MD

 Friends of Texas Medical Board Watch, If you do not wish to receive email from TMBW, please respond with “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Below is an email from a Texas physician who emailed me asking for advice.  Next is my response. If government worked like it is supposed to work, MD below would not need a lawyer.  I personally did not hire a lawyer until after my informal settlement conference because I knew any lawyer would tell me to be quiet and “let me do my job”.  If you tell the whole world what they are doing, they will quit doing it.   I think the Texas Medical Board has laid back on its attacks on me.   Their modus operandi now is to have Texas Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement officers wait for me! This morning coming to work I failed to notice I had entered a school zone (speed limit 25 mph) and was going 43 mph.  Immediately before the school zone the speed limit was 40 mph. Sure enough a cop was on me.  Pulled me over and gave me a ticket.  Since this was in daylight and there were plenty of people around, I just smiled and signed the citation.  That’s a ticket I deserved and will gladly pay, but I wonder why all the other drivers who were going 40 mph were not stopped.   They don’t understand that more harassment just provides more evidence.  Shirley Pigott MD  *****Dear MD,  I would ask your representative to send a staff member to accompany you to your settlement conference. Your representative himself should contact the Texas Medical Board to let them know in advance that someone from his office will be attending.  Inform them that you will be taping the conference as well.  Don’t take “no” for an answer.  You have this right! Who is Andy xxxxx?   Call me tonight, please, at home at 361-573-0054. Call me any time.  Shirley Pigott MDOn Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 11:24 AM, MD xxxxx wrote:
 

I had a great meeting with State Rep Jim Pitts of Waxahachie. He was very interested and was partially aware.  He will be looking into it further and getting back to me.  Senator Chris Harris hung up on the wrong person, my friend Andy xxxx  is very politicly active and is on a mission now.  I hope to meet with Andy’s state Rep next week or so.  I am spreading the word as fast as possible.  I have to go to Austin soon to court to defend my self. I can’t afford an attorney…. Any suggestions. …..we still need to talk. xxxxxx is my cell.  What else can I be doing? I have friends and family calling all over the state to their senators and reps to ask for an investigation.

> *Re:  Second Hearing on abuses of the Texas Medical Board (TMB)> Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. in Austin.
>
> Friends,
>
> Thanks to Steve Hotze MD for his very effective work in bringing the
> abuses of the Texas Medical Board to the open and in making the
> arrangements for these hearings by the Texas House Appropriations
> Committee, S/C on Regulatory Agencies.  The last hearings on October 23,
> 2007 took eleven hours; they are available for viewing on the House
> archives at:
>
> * www.house.state. tx.us/fx/ av/committee80/ 71023a02r. ram
>
> Please write a two page statement which you will have notarized after
> you sign this attestation:  I swear or affirm that this statement is
> true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
>
> When you submit this statement to me, I will forward it to the correct
> person and ask to have you scheduled to testify under oath at the
> hearings. The statement should summarize the points you wish to make.
> Please be as specific as possible so that action can be taken.  Include
> your telephone numbers.  You may testify again even though you have
> previously testified. The content should be different. Your testimony
> can include your progress if you are still dealing with the same issue.
>
> We have new evidence to support false anonymous complaints by Roberta
> Kalafut DO, Board President, and her husband, Ed Brandecker MD.  There
> is growing evidence that one or the other of them has turned in
> complaints about any competing doctors. Texas Medical Board Watch is
> beginning to make this evidence available to various Texas
> Representatives as we call for reform.  You can help us a great deal if
> you contact your own Texas Representative and Texas Senator with your
> concerns about anonymous complaints from these two physicians and the
> abuse of power it reflects.
>
> Whether or not you have any problem with the board yourself, please
> contact your own elected officials.  In fact, if you are reluctant to
> discuss your personal problems because of your legitimate fear of
> retaliation, it is especially important that you contact your own
> elected officials and ask them to educate themselves about the abuses
> that continue.  Please ask them to send a staff person to attend the
> hearings.  They can be part of the hearing panel by contacting
> Representative Fred Brown or the House Clerk of the S/C on Regulatory
> Agencies.
>
> If you are unable to attend yourself, perhaps you can persuade a
> colleague. If you are licensed in Texas, formerly licensed in Texas, or
> waiting for your Texas license, please consider making an attestation of
> your support for a strong, but fair, Texas Medical Board.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Shirley Pigott MD

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