When you look up Dr. Charles Sophy on the Osteopathic Medical Board of California’s website, you won’t find much about him. You can see his license is current but will expire in Oct. of this year. His license number is 6205. Given how much this one doctor has gone through, it’s surprising there isn’t more about him.
Dr. Sophy is the medical director of the Los Angeles County Dept. of Children and Family Services. He once treated a man who would later become a spree shooter. Since the spree shooting, Dr. Sophy has been accused of medical kidnap.
In regards to the medical kidnap allegation, a deposition took place and there is an unflattering video of it on the internet. It shows Dr. Sophy being questioned by a lawyer, and the two men become snarky with each other. In the video, the lawyer is skeptical of Dr. Sophy and isn’t sure he’s even a real medical doctor.
There is nothing on the Board’s website about Dr. Sophy’s treatment of a spree shooter or whether or not he has ever engaged in medical kidnap. However, he does have a license number on the site, so that is proof that he is a medical doctor.
Is Dr. Sophy’s tumultuous past in patient care something that should be on the Board’s website? After all, it has to do with his track record as a physician. When releasing information about the quality of physicians, where does any medical board draw the line? For mentally ill physicians, there is no borderline between full disclosure of physician quality and backbiting on the web.
A doctor (not Dr. Sophy) commented that he was judged by another physician who is aware of his mental health issues and problems with the Medical Board of California. The name of the other physician has been censored for privacy reasons.
One of the other commenters on this thread, Dr. ****, is a psychiatrist with whom I have shared my story. He took offense when I said that my personal issues “never affected patient care,” and told me that I had no idea whether they did or not. While I can see where he’s coming from (especially since he’s not in my shoes), I must respectfully disagree. In fact, if my personal issues ever DID affect my care, they made me a more compassionate and empathic doc and these experiences have made me even more frustrated at the complete domination of my field by a (pseudo)science led by charlatans and hucksters. And most of my peers will never appreciate this fact.
The doctor who wrote the above comment has a license to practice and hasn’t had problems with the Board in years. This is evident just by looking him up. But there is still plenty of information about his rough history on the site. Documentation shows he was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with “Bulimia Nervosa, Kleptomania, and Alcohol Dependence (Full Sustained Remission). “
Regarding the Kleptomania, a document states such things as “Respondent was arrested for petty theft from a grocery store from which he stole $12 worth of sandwiches and sodas.” A more serious case of stealing occurred when he was later arrested for grand theft. He stole expensive textbooks and was sentenced to time in a residential treatment program, community service, and probation.
His other conditions were also addressed. The Bulimia is a sad read. He admitted to having suffered from the eating disorder since high school. The alcohol dependence discussed in the document was based on his having received a DUI and admitting to having abused alcohol in the past. He has received inpatient and outpatient treatment for both conditions.
A DUI and grand theft are serious offences (even if he was only stealing textbooks). But did patients really need to know that he used to steal sandwiches and sodas? Does the fact that he’s been resisting the urge to purge since high school have anything to do with patient care?
The accusation that Dr. Sophy engaged in medical kidnap is more relevant to quality control than sandwich theft. Even if it’s not true, patients are more concerned about children being stolen under the guise of good medicine than they are about their sandwiches.
Also, Dr. Sophy treated an infamous spree shooter (six dead and fourteen wounded). The shooter wrote in his manifesto that Dr. Sophy prescribed him Risperidone without explaining the side effect profile of the drug. The shooter alleged he researched the drug himself in order to find out the risks of taking it. Unfortunately, once he learned more about the drug from the internet, he decided against seeing Dr. Sophy again or taking medication. Even if that’s not an accurate portrayal of what really happened during treatment, it should be on a quality control website. No patient wants a doctor who fails to mention when he’s prescribing a risky drug.
The point is that physician quality control is more complex than who is Bulimic and who isn’t. It’s not just about whether or not your doctor used to compulsively steal groceries and textbooks. There are other factors that go into quality control, and it’s only fair to put those things on the site as well.