MacIver News Service | April 26, 2011[Madison, Wisc…] The case of the fake sick notes continues to be shrouded in secrecy.
The doctors who wrote fake sick notes to government workers who were hoping to have their protest-related by absences deemed medically excused may face disciplinary actions from their employer, but the public may never know.
In February, the MacIver News Service broke the story, which soon became national news.
“I asked if they were handing out doctors’ excuses and a guy said yes and asked me if I needed one,” said one woman who wished to remain anonymous. “When I told them I needed one for February 16 and 17th, he wondered if I wanted to come back here for the protests next week.”
What happened next shocked her.
“I said, ‘sure,’ and I received a doctor’s note for the 16th through the 25th of February, without a medical exam.”
The notes read
Feb 19, 2011
Date of birth ____/_____/_____
To Whom it May Concern:
This is confirm I have seen and evaluated the above named patient.
Please excuse from work/school due to a medical condition from
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if additional information is needed. Thank you.
WI license number
Based on an examination of the signature and medical license number provided, one of the men handing out these notes was purporting to be James H Shropshire MD, a Clinical Associate Professor at the University Wisconsin Madison. Other UW doctors and medical students were seen in the video which accompanied the MNS story.
Shortly after the incident, Dean Robert Golden of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health announced he’d empowered a a committee to investigate the matter and determine if work rules and/or professional ethics were violated.
On Tuesday Med School announced it had completed its review regarding University of Wisconsin physicians involved in the scam.
“The school will not comment on individual cases. (Our practice of not commenting publicly on specific disciplinary actions is consistent with state law governing the confidentiality of public-employee records in both the public-records law and section 230 of Wisconsin statutes. Hence, the names of those involved and the actions taken will not be disclosed.),” read an unsigned statement issued Tuesday by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
The statement said that UW Doctors who participated in the fraud will face consequences ranging from written reprimand to loss of pay and leadership position.
Therefore, the public may have to examine annual payroll information in the future to determine whether any financial penalties were incurred.
The State Medical Examining Board also has investigations underway on this matter.
The MacIver News Service will have more on that investigation later this week.