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College Bribery Scandal Snags Doc; Genitals on Instagram; Smollett EHR Snooping

This weekly roundup features arrests, criminal proceedings, and other reports alleging improper or questionable conduct by healthcare professionals.

California radiation oncologist Gregory Colburn, MD, was among those charged in the $25-million college admission bribery scandal that also nabbed Hollywood celebrities and business executives. Colburn and his wife allegedly paid about $25,000 to have someone take the SAT exam for his son. (

A Kansas doctor was sentenced to life in prison for illegally prescribing opioids that led to a patient’s fatal overdose in 2015. (AP News)

In California, a mother and daughter filed suit against the Kaiser Foundation Hospital system and a gynecologist employed there, alleging the physician artificially inseminated the mother with his own semen in 1987, continued to see her for years after, and eventually performed pelvic exams on his own daughter who was unaware of their relationship. (Courthouse News)

Ohio’s Mount Carmel Health System, facing at least 24 wrongful death lawsuits related to opioid prescribing by William Husel, DO, has now reported 48 employees to state boards and put several clinical leaders at the facility on administrative leave, according to a statement from the CEO.

A surgeon specializing in transgender healthcare resigned from the University of Miami Health System following complaints that he had posted patient photos on Instagram without their consent, including one on Valentine’s Day in which he positioned a dissected penis in the shape of a heart with the caption, “There are many ways to show your LOVE.” (Trans Advocate)

Elsewhere in Florida, a nurse had her license suspended for stealing painkillers at the hospital, injecting them into herself, then refilling the empty syringes with saline to be put back in the automated dispenser. (Miami Herald)

A Michigan physician and his son were accused of billing millions of dollars to Medicare for procedures that weren’t necessary or were performed by the son, who is the office administrator at his father’s pain clinic but is not licensed himself. Patients reported that the son gave non-sterile spinal injections for his 84-year-old father because his hands were “too shaky.” (WDIV)

A former psychiatric nurse who co-founded NXIVM, a cultlike New York group whose leader allegedly forced sexual relationships with young girls and had his initials branded on them, pleaded guilty to identity theft and altering records, hacking into the email addresses of the group’s “enemies” to “unlawfully surveil” them, and editing emails so they wouldn’t surface in court. (New York Times)

A Delaware doctor was accused of prescribing opioids for sexual favors, specifically targeting a female patient being treated for drug addiction. The physician denied the allegations and told news outlets that the claims are part of a “conspiracy” fomented by a rival physician. (AP)

At least 60 employees were terminated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital where “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was treated after claiming to be attacked, which he was later accused of faking. Several former workers told news outlets they believe they were fired for inappropriately accessing Smollett’s medical records; some have denied it and are appealing their terminations. (CBS Chicago)