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NBC News Report on Research by Dr. Dry

When considering a medical specialist for treatment or testimony, the importance of American Board of Member Specialties (ABMS) certification may not be obvious at first glance. Watch this NBC News Report 'The Daily Difference: Vital Signs" in which Dr. Laurence R. Dry was interviewed by Tom Brokaw in a segment titled "Alternative Certification" which tells the story of a patient who was injured by a non-ABMS certified surgeon.

Dr. Dry's first client, Billy Lewellen, was injured as a result of care provided by Dr. McCallister, who had failed his ABMS board exam, but was offered alternative certification by Dr. Rask in Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon completion of this examination, Dr. Gary McCallister was awarded certification in Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. This is one of thirty-four board certifications supplied by Dr. Rask.

Mr. Lewellen, a college student at the time, had a seizure while sleeping in his dorm room. Seizures are frequently the cause of posterior dislocations of the shoulder. Dr. McCallister examined Mr. Lewellen, did no x ray, and referred him for one week of inpatient physical therapy and several months of outpatient physical therapy. After shoulder surgery by an ABMS certified physician, Mr. Lewellen, was permanently disabled as a result of the delay in surgical intervention. He sought legal assistance from Dr. Dry.

In the process of gathering records, Dr. Dry went to Dr. McCallister's office. He noticed that the board certification was by a board he did not recognize. Dr. Dry began to investigate. He learned Dr. McCallister had been credentialed at a fairly large community hospital, which looked like it had been an inadequate credentialing process. Upon investigation, Dr. Dry learned that although Dr. McCallister alleged to have been spared medical malpractice cases he had been sued several times. In fact, Dr. McCallister had sixteen medical malpractice claims filed against him, he had been kicked off the staff of a Tennessee hospital, and had been denied privileges at a West Virginia hospital. Because he had been introduced to the West Virginia hospital by a recruiting firm, which the hospital had paid for, the hospital, upon finding out about Dr. McCallister's true credentials, sued the firm. The case file assisted Dr. Dry in tracing Dr. McCallister's pathway through the credentialing process over the years. At the time, it was extremely difficult to get information about credentialing in Tennessee. However, McCallister's record was so bad that the administrator of the Tennessee hospital from which he had been fired cooperated with our investigation in spite of the law.

In order to determine the exact nature of the credentialing process and certification offered by Dr. Rask, Dr. John Dunn took Dr. Rask's board exams on NBC's hidden camera. Dr. Dunn was a practicing emergency medicine physician in Brownsville, Texas with no training in psychiatry or neurology. When Dr. Dunn arrived at Rask's office to take the exam he saw both certificates, already signed and on Dr. Rask's desk. Although Rask claims the exams are 'rigorous' and require nearly eight hours to complete, Dr. Dunn completed the Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Neurology exams in less than forty minutes. He examined one patient and was notified within three hours that he had passed.

Dr. Dry's investigative work for Billy Lewellyn's case shed light on this dangerous practice that could affect you or a loved one.

Medical Malpractice Experts
The firm of Dr. Dry, MD, JD & Associates
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