Since the inaugural launch of The SpineBlogger in February of 2009, occasionally we receive e-mails from unnamed sources looking to either promote a business, a practice or even look for medical advice. As has been our policy from Day 1, we have attempted to keep our blog unadultered or free from commercial interests. Interestingly over time we had been inundated with e-mails promoting the humanitarian efforts of one Dr. Richard Kaul of the NJ Spine and Rehab Center located in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. Kaul's publicist would send us e-mails promoting the good doctor's involvement with something known as The Spine Africa Project.
Well if its publicity that he wants, it is publicity that he shall get. On June 14th, 2012 the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners voted 11-1 (TSB wants to know the name of the "1") to temporarily suspend the license of Dr. Kaul, an ANESTHESIOLOGIST, for performing spinal surgeries without proper training stating that his actions, "put the public at risk." The irony of the State's decision is that this is not the first time Dr. Kaul has faced disciplinary actions. In 2003, the Board had prevented Dr. Kaul from practicing for six months for failing to disclose that a London, England jury had convicted him of negligent manslaughter in 2001.
The question must be asked of our readers, "what is an anesthesiologist doing performing cervical and lumbar fusions?" Where is the oversight that is supposed to be provided by the NJ Medical Society? Something is fundamentally wrong when multiple patients accuse a physician of gross negligence, incompetence and malpractice. Who would go to a one room surgical practice to have spine surgery? Dr. Kaul has been lauded as a pioneer in MIS, supposedly performing over 500 procedures including many that no other physician has yet to attempt as quoted in his press release in the Common Good. Have we lowered our standards, considering that a surgeon performing spine surgery must have an accepted standard of surgical training, experience, and education? Based on Dr. Kaul's experience, a new precedent is being set whereby all one has to do is attend a hands-on cadaver training on MIS and become a member of the Spine Arthroplasty Society and you can anoint oneself a spine surgeon.
Don't believe TSB, read the complaint. What are we evolving into as a profession? Hucksters, Conmen? Impersonators? Not only have we become a shameless society, we rationalize that if we make money off of whatever it is that we do, it must be okay. Every individual has a right to a fair trial, yet after reading the allegations, there are no excuses for this type of behavior. TSB wants to know what our readers think? How many of these types of deals do you see in your local areas? The truth is that the medical community does a very poor job of policing its own living by the Omertà, that cultural code of silence, a non-cooperation with authorities and non-interference of illegal actions of others in the profession.