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Michigan Licensing Board Ignores Complaints About Doctors: Delaware, Anyone?

May 13, 2010

A friend of mine called yesterday to tell me more about the situation in Delaware, with the physician who was allowed to abuse hundreds of children because the licensing board refused to investigate complaints submitted years before.  My friend is a physician, and she knows well the situations of our other friends, some of whom have been seriously abused by physicians here in Michigan and yet can’t get the Michigan Licensing Board to investigate.  To the good physicians, like her, the concept that a licensing board wouldn’t investigate medical wrong-doings is almost inconceivable.  She works with physicians–she knows they are human and therefore vulnerable to error or abuse.

My post on the Michigan Licensing Board has garnered some attention from readers in the blogosphere, with some readers suggesting that I investigate the phenomenon of physician abuse further because no one else is willing to.  After all, if doctors police themselves, then who is there to investigate?  I am open to posting comments in this area, open to receiving information regarding abusive doctors, but I am also growing increasingly weary, as I hear from other readers, of the institutional level of systematically ignoring patients because they don’t have the same education and therefore can’t be believed.  How is one to institute a complaint then?  How will physicians be brought to the forefront of accountability if there is no true investigatory bureau, especially in Michigan, with Delaware just the latest example of abusive power structures.  After all, the international community talks of arresting the Pope, so what makes abusive physicians safe?

What does keep physicians safe?  I know for a fact that many practicing physicians in Michigan keep a double set of records, some that they release to patients and some that they never release except amongst themselves, and even though this is illegal, there has been, as of yet, no move by Michigan authorities.  Comments I have heard include: “Lawyers love to get their hands on this stuff, so we need to document it in another area.” Some physicians just say things like:  “We don’t like to release records to patients; we release them to physicians’ offices.”  So, without refusing to release records, the physicians offices are still stonewalling in providing consumers direct access to their medical information.

I must make it clear here too that in light of their complaints, the women I know have submitted evidence of the Michigan Licensing Board’s failure to investigate claims to: Governor Granholm (no response), Governor Granholm’s Special Investigatory Division (no response), the State of Michigan Department of Community Health (response = no investigation if Licensing Board refuses to take complaints seriously), and other Michigan legislators.  The results, by multiple people involved in reporting physician errors have been disappointing.  Even though I know of at least 6 reports, neither the governor’s office, nor the Department of Community Health, not to mention the Licensing Board, ever started investigations.

So how does one get Michigan officials to take abuse and error claims against physicians seriously?  Well, honestly I don’t know.  I told my friend who called that I had no more information, that even though Delaware officials were investigating the lack of investigation, it seemed to me to be too little too late.  “Surely now they will do something, because they’ve seen the news on Delaware, right?” says my friend.

We can only hope, but as of yet, the State of Michigan has now ignored at least 6 complaints, and I have just started keeping track.  Dear Readers, if you know of anymore, please feel free to send them in.  Thanks to those of you who have already done so.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. barbara permalink
    March 12, 2011 4:29 pm

    Can you be specific re: names of physicians in MI?

    I am in Oregon, and at the request of a family member, attempting to find information re: a specific doctor. Looking at the Board of Medical Examiners portion if the MI Dept of Community Health, I see a license that is unencumbered, no disciplinary action, yet there is information of a “Jane Doe v ____(physician) in MI Court of Appeals information.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      March 13, 2011 7:38 pm

      I am not sure what you are looking for, exactly, but I will do what I can to help clarify. The Board of Medical Examiners has failed to properly investigate allegations against a physician last known to be working in the Cedar Springs, MI area, I think, because the Board of Medical Examiners stated that sometimes women might simply be “uncomfortable” during a pelvic exam and refused to interview the patient filing the complaint, who alleged sustaining physical injury during a pelvic exam, as well as documentation the physician wrote that sounded as if the patient was masturbating. I am not sure why the Board of Medical Examiners has failed to investigate. I can try to get more information on this, but please realize that the majority of physician sexual abuses here in Michigan go “uninvestigated”, with reasons from the board ranging from: “investigator is a medical instructor and therefore the investigation will not proceed” to other reasons such as “there is no way an injury could have occurred based on the doctor’s own documentation of the event.” I am not sure why the board has failed to investigate. Remember that there is a lot of money involved in medicine and communities never want to admit to having hired an injurious doctor, so that information may be covered up. The only manner in which doctors are really ever held accountable is through lawsuits wherein an outside party pushes to uncover documents that the physicians have failed to disclose. That said, if it’s not in the board’s best interest, here in Michigan, they don’t investigate. I have looked over rejected requests to investigate, written by physicians on MIchigan’s Board of Medical Examiners that were written with typos, spelling errors, scribbled notes, illegible signatures, etc. but short of the Michigan Attorney General investigating, I am not sure what can be done. If you know the name of the physician, I will see what I can find out for you.

      • Rocio permalink
        November 4, 2013 10:19 pm

        Well if you can investigate why will the board would license a foreign “doctor” who never graduated or attended a medical school, I don’t know who was the bright mind who decided that a MBBS (a bachelor degree in medicine and surgery) equals an MD (I know maybe the M that could been interpreted as an MD 🙂 I used too be a legal translator ( for school transcripts and legal documents, In addition I worked in a community college in the transcripts and education audits, and I never seen someone pull the scam on the college auditor) the scariest part is some of the applicants now thanks to the licensing board “doctors” with the worst fake degree I ever seen in my professional life, shameful when your medical board applicant can’t even get the word Doctor right, and they wrote dortor can’t believe? Well it is true. This doctor know is a NICU attending doctor or an illegally run NICU I guess it is true that it takes a liar to know a liar.

  2. barbara permalink
    March 14, 2011 3:27 am

    Thank you for your response. I am interested in Vidal Borromeo, MD, a MI physician who formerly practiced at William Beaumont Hospital.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      March 14, 2011 7:47 pm

      Do you know where he is practicing now? It sounds like, from what you have said, that the Michigan Board of Physicians has refused to investigate the physician, and if you are the patient, or even if not, you can fill out a Freedom of Information Act form, or write one yourself citing by FIA you request it, a summary of the investigations or complaints filed against Vidal Borromeo. I have filled them out, and basically you state that by the FIA authority, you are requesting a record of any complaints filed against him. The Board virtually never intercedes on a patient behalf, but that could be why there is a lawsuit. I don’t want to pry, but are you looking to file a legal claim, or are you looking to see if there are any actions filed against him, sort of vet him out? There might be totally different procedures. If you are looking to see if he has a history of abuses or medical errors, that record would be with the hospital. You can also check the hospital’s safety records if you are just trying to determine the safety of say, having a procedure performed there. If you have a complaint or an issue, then it would be a different scenario. Please find a link to a site that gives his current address and solicits feedback if you have had treatment by him as a provider:
      Looks like he is practicing now in Bloomfield Hills. It looks like he trained at Beaumont, perhaps as a resident, because he is only listed as a Jr. oncologist.

    • Y Contigo permalink
      June 8, 2011 7:32 pm

      The underlying case is Jane Doe v. Vidal Borromeo and William Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak. It is filed in Oakland County Circuit court. Go to for public court records. The case concerns an assault and battery of a female patient. That is very significant: Doe was a female in-patient. Also important is that fact that a judgment has been entered in favor of Jane Doe.

      If there are others who have information about Vidal Borromeo, Jr or similar incidents of assaults on hospitalized women at William Beaumont Hospital, please, please, please come forward to

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        June 8, 2011 8:03 pm

        Thank you for putting this information out there for everyone. What makes me so sad is that it has to happen to more than one woman before the doctor is investigated.

  3. June 8, 2011 3:28 am

    Barbara: please contact for more info about Vidal D Borromeo. It is very important. Thank you

  4. Che Coker permalink
    June 11, 2011 11:28 am

    The medical board in NC recently rejected my complaint as well. I’m a gay man of mixed descent; who was molested by a white male doctor as a child. It makes me feel better in a way to know that white people are also treated this way.( I know that sounds messed up; but takes away the racial, social class paranoia) I was feeling as though my fight was unique and hopeless. Thanks for putting this information up; so we all can atleast support one another. Much love, Che

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      June 13, 2011 9:06 pm

      Abuse is prevalent in the medical setting, just not frequently prosecuted. Much love to you, too, and please note that another reader has posted a survivor’s link in their comments. Would that be helpful?

      • Che Coker permalink
        June 14, 2011 3:43 pm

        Yes Brokeharvardgrad; that would be helpful. Thanks, Che

  5. October 8, 2011 6:12 pm

    “brokeharvardgrad” could you please remove my first comment. Initially, when I posted; I wasn’t that tech savvy. I didn’t realize anyone in the world could “google” my personal life experiences. Thanks so much, Che Coker

  6. BJW permalink
    March 7, 2013 1:28 pm


  7. Debbie permalink
    November 15, 2013 7:51 pm

    I’ve recently tried to file a complaint
    that has gotten nowhere or buck passed by the powers that be here Iin Michigan also.

  8. Fran permalink
    January 1, 2014 6:14 pm

    I am trying to track a Dr who performed surgery in 1998 in Mid-Michigan and almost allowed my husband to file a wrongful death suit. The Dr reported that he would be expanding his practice to a nearby hospital and that did not happen. I was told he moved his practice to a rural area of the thumb, and my search supports that happened. This guy appears to be moving around from hospital to hospital. The hospital I went to for the surgery had recommended him. The MCDH makes it very difficult to report or track any medical complaints.
    My medical records I obtained showed that he had gone back and dictated new notes for the file regarding my surgery. This was not an accident. This guy purposely kept sending me down to ER to get multiple excruciating tests right after surgery, when I complained of a high fever, severe pain, and eventually an inability to walk.
    The medical field and MCDH make it easy for bad doctors to continue to practice for unsuspecting patient victim.

  9. patientsafety permalink
    April 14, 2014 10:47 pm

    would it be possible to contact you privately?

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      April 22, 2014 12:42 pm

      Yes. I have an email account, but I have to look up the password again…I rarely use it, because I generally use this forum.

  10. Concerned permalink
    April 17, 2014 5:37 pm

    What help can I find…here in Michigan. I was VERBALLY and EMOTIONALLY ABUSED by an internal medicine physician (I was assigned under), as he was discharging me from hospital last evening. I called an attorney’s office and paralegal told me if there was no medical malpractice or neglect then there’s nothing they can do. Paralegal recommened I talk to Representative from Recipients’ Rights office at the hospital, or change to another hospital system altogether. Or get a 2nd opinion by different hospital and if there is a diagnosis found I could call them back and at that point something could be done. It must be true that nothing is ever investigated or done b/c this physician told me “I have good repretation and nobody will ever say anything against me, you can call the Medical Board if you want to, I don’t care what you do, their not going to do anything”. This physician said more but as it relate to the above article re: Michigan Medical Boards not conducting investigations, there must be some truth b/c he told me ‘nothing will happen to him’.

    There has to be someone we as patients’ can turn to who will help us. I haven’t stopped crying since being released from hospital.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      April 22, 2014 12:44 pm

      You can contact the Michigan Medical Licensing Board, but I really feel that unless they are sued for failure to investigate properly, nothing will change. The Michigan Medical Licensing Board rarely, and pretty much never, takes disciplinary action. I am so sorry that you had that experience, and I would report it, even if they don’t investigate fully. It’s disheartening to have these doctors treated as if they are above the law.

  11. April 22, 2014 4:35 pm

    If you ask the medical board staff why, when given solid evidence of patient abuse and even criminal activity, they will not pursue it they will tell you they “don’t have to”. And WHY they don’t have to: Warren VS. The District Of Columbia and other such cases.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      April 26, 2014 12:57 pm

      The only way to discipline doctors and investigate them is through a lawsuit–the doctors have no one to police them.

  12. Betrayed Patient permalink
    October 28, 2014 10:06 pm


    I am disappointed in the review of Dr. Firoza B. Van Horn in Bloomfield Hills, MI. She laughed at my pain and suffering in the medical evaluation. I wouldn’t refer her to anyone and would love to know where I can file a complaint.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      October 29, 2014 2:58 pm

      You can always file a complaint with the Michigan Licensing Board. I don’t think they do anything, but that is the system for filing a complaint. There are also online forums like Rate My Doctor.

    • Another Unhappy Patient permalink
      May 24, 2016 5:58 pm

      Betrayed Patient,
      Are you still around? Did you file a complaint anywhere? Dr. Van Horn also laughed at my physical symptoms. She said I wouldn’t have been able to graduate from high school or obtain a college degree if I had symptoms. When I called her office to inquire about filling out an amendment form to correct inaccurate information she wrote in my medical records (she wrote things I said that I didn’t say), a staff member told me I needed to write the doctor an email with that information. When I called to check on the status of request, I wasn’t getting anywhere since the doctor kept blowing me off. Then, I said I think by law a doctor’s office must correct inaccurate information. The doctor finally called me back to say that she doesn’t read patient stories and that I was mentally sick for writing letters to her. She said I wouldn’t be able to keep writing her letters if I had physical symptoms.I reminded her that I only wrote one email or letter for her to amend my records! When I asked if she was going to amend my records, she said file a complaint like it was a joke.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        August 17, 2016 9:06 pm

        My computer had died, and I have been in fights with Apple since. You could always contact the medical licensing board to file a formal complaint. I have never found them helpful, but it certainly gets a physician’s attention.

    • Another Unhappy Patient permalink
      May 24, 2016 10:15 pm

  13. PatientsforSafety permalink
    August 18, 2016 12:40 am

    I”m looking for anyone that has treated with an oral surgeon named Dr. Joseph Helman DMD in Ann Arbor Michigan.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      August 30, 2016 2:57 pm

      I can post this, but I haven’t had anyone comment on this particularly in the past.

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