Imagine early one morning your doorbell rings. You wake from sleep and come to the door and open it. There before you is "a lawyer and a few other people from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)." They hand you a document, signed by a judge, that they can search your premises and seize things. You're confused and feel powerless to act. They enter, move to your study (home office) that contains the records of your ACGME-accredited board review course that you've given for years, collecting documents. They open your computer, taking portions of it so it no longer works. They rummage through your wife's jewelry box. They spend the entire day boxing and inventorying things that they collect, then leave.
Then, some time later, a settlement deal is cut with you. One that apparently the ABIM does not want others to see. You're advised by your counsel not to bring that subpoenaed settlement agreement with you for your deposition. And remarkably, the very same lawyer that raided your home is there at your deposition representing the ABIM.
Yesterday, Dr. Jaime A. Salas Rushford posted on his blog the 142-page deposition of Rajender K. Arora, MD from January 21, 2016, obtained as part of his defense of the ABIM suit filed against him. Dr. Arora ran the board review course that resulted in 5 suits and 134 physician sanctions by the ABIM as reported in the Wall Street Journal. It also prompted physician sanction letters to be sent by Ms. Lynn Langdon, Chief Operating Officer of the ABIM at the time, to thousands more. Dr. Arora's account of the raid on his home in December 2009 begins on page 62 of the posted transcript. The lawyer that came to his door is identified on page 63 (Ms. Hara Jacobs). The accounting of the search of Dr. Arora's wife's jewelry box is found on page 93.
So if you've got a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee and read the deposition, especially the part about the raid on Dr. Arora's home. I have a feeling this story is about to get very interesting for practicing US physicians and very uncomfortable for the ABIM as more details about this apparent physician sting operation emerge.
Related: "Strongman, Bosses, and the American Board of Internal Medicine"