Marty Ross MD Medical License Update

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Medical Licnese Update Image Marty Ross MD

Updated: 5/8/19

The Washington Medical Board Blinked

This week I received word the Washington Medical Commission (medical board) found nothing wrong in their latest investigation of my practice. This finding sets the stage for my return to practice.

As many of you know, the Washington medical board attempted to take my medical license because I treat chronic Lyme disease using prescription and alternative medicine approaches. Over a year ago they ramped up their efforts by investigating my practice under the false claim that I was doing unauthorized “human experimentation” in my practice. They used the term “human experimentation” to stop any legal challenges in court to their disciplinary over-reach. In May of 2018 I exhausted my last attempt to legally block their investigation. In the investigtion, the medical board thoroughly reviewed five random records for each of the following diagnoses: Lyme disease, mold toxicity illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. After this detailed exam of my practice, it is safe to say they now know the full extent of my use of alternative medicines, prescriptions, and long-term use of antibiotics to treat Lyme. 

Timeline of What Happened

Because I treat chronic Lyme disease, like many Lyme literate medical doctors, I have had my share of medical board investigations. Until 2017, these investigations were all closed without any findings of wrongdoing.

In 2015, a pharmacist reported me to the Washington medical board for the care I gave to a person with Lyme and mold toxin illness. She was referred to hospice before I treated her. Before seeing me, she was placed on the sleep medicine Ambien by a pain specialist because it controlled her pain when nothing else did. Although Ambien is a sleep medicine, it works at GABA-benzodiazepine pain receptors in the brain and can help pain. She did require high doses of this medicine, but she was not impaired by this. And it gave her an improved quality of life. I understand why the pharmacist reported me for this unusual use of Ambien but seeing the benefits and the explanation of why it worked, the medical board should have dropped its investigation without findings. 

Under my care, she regained her life. But the medical board did not care. They sanctioned my license through what is called a stipulation agreement. The stipulation agreement is a legal contract. Under it the board let me keep my license, but I had to

  • take a medical records course,
  • develop and implement a protocol for using medications at high doses off-label,
  • write two different papers, and
  • agree to ongoing medical board oversight of my practice.

I was outraged. My patient was even more outraged because the board ignored the letters and pleas she sent on my behalf.

After reading my papers supporting the use of Ambien for pain and the use of natural medicines based on the best science available, the medical board called me in for a face-to-face meeting just before Thanksgiving in 2017. It was very hostile. I was personally attacked for treating chronic Lyme and for using natural medicines in my approach. It was clear to me, the medical board did not want me to remain in practice. However, with the stipulation agreement in place, they could not take my license. I could not be tried twice for the same case. That is why they claimed I was doing "human experimentation" to open a whole new investigation.

At this point, the medical board has not released me from the stipulation agreement. This means they can still provide excessive oversight of my medical practice. And with the stipulation agreement in place, I cannot seek licensure in any other state.

Why I Closed My Seattle Practice

I closed my Seattle practice in 2018 because I was certain the board would eventually take my license. I gave my patients a two-month notice of the closing so they could have time to arrange other care. I also closed the practice because the medical board oversight was interfering with the quality of the medical decisions I was making on behalf of my patients. 

Next Steps

I would like to return to unrestricted practice where I can make quality medical decisions without fear of medical board action.

Over the next few months I will work with my legal team in Washington to terminate the current stipulation agreement. If I am released, I will decide to either open up a practice again in Seattle, WA under my current license or possibly in Austin, TX where I live now. Because of the Washington medical board’s actions, even when the stipulation agreement is terminated, it could take a year or so to get licensed in Texas. And there is a chance the Texas medical board will not license me or place restrictions on my license.

Keep Up with My Status

I plan to update this page with new information as it arrives. Check back here for the latest. I will date each new update. 

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