Jesus is credited as being one of history’s greatest healers. Live action depictions of this abound. For instance, there is a scene in the movie “Risen” where a leper is chased away by angry people. He falls to the ground, is beaten with a stick, and is ordered not to come back. The leper lies on the ground in pain and humiliation. Jesus approaches the fallen leper, who informs Jesus that no one touches him. Jesus lays his hands on the severely disfigured leper and heals him.
In the New Testament, Jesus is the kind of doctor we all hope to get. He is the kind of doctor who treats patients that no one else will treat. His patients don’t even have family to care for them. They are ridiculed, outcast, and abandoned by the rest of society. But he treats them all with respect and compassion.
Unfortunately, doctors don’t always treat the most vulnerable among us in this way. Mentally ill physicians have claimed to have been mistreated by the Medical Board of California. It’s a tragedy and miscarriage of justice for the doctors who are punished for having a mental health issues. Instead of being healed, they are cast away and abandoned by their peers
The Medical Board of California doesn’t just give the names of impaired physicians who have come to their attention. They also release their diagnoses. It’s a form of public shaming that can’t be undone. A doctor with a disability knows no privacy with the California Medical Board.
Recently, on Feb. 22, OC Weekly, ran a story about Dr. Alla Zander. She lost her license to practice medicine on the previous Friday. The writer refers to Zander as “a bulimic kleptomaniac.” The article contains quotes and deeply personal information about her psychological problems, compliments of Medical Board of California documents. The documentation included things she had said to a psychiatrist concerning her bulimia and kleptomania.
It’s a horrifying read for anyone who believes in keeping private medical issues private. The article quoted this from a Medical Board of California document:
“Respondent admitted to getting a ‘quick fix’ from binging and purging, as well as stealing food from grocery stores,” the document continues. “She likened the feeling she experiences to the adrenaline rush drug users experience.”
On Feb. 24, the article was updated. Dr. Zander responded to the article with a letter, and OC Weekly added her letter to the original article. In her letter, Zander wrote about being a physician with mental health problems. She claims the board disregarded the fact that her abilities as a physician have never been impaired. She closed her letter with this.
Reading your article can make people believe that I am such a villain, taking advantage of the society and of people who trusted me with their lives. I can only hope that they stop for a moment and think, that there is a real person behind all of those “facts”( many of them are simply wrong), that devoted all her life to helping other people out of love for them and for the art of medicine.