When they arrived in Lawton, state investigators found a fully furnished doctor's office — but not a doctor.
It was like Dr. Robert Miles Chisholm III got up one day and left.
“It was like he just disappeared,” said Lyle Kelsey, the Oklahoma Medical Board executive director.
Thursday, the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision voted to revoke Chisholm's license, citing unprofessional conduct.
Chisholm was not present at the disciplinary hearing, nor has anyone from the board heard from him since late November. His family and colleagues claim they haven't seen him either.
Meanwhile, more than 40 of his patients have made calls to the board, trying to figure out how they can get their medical records.
The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision regularly meets in Oklahoma City to oversee disciplinary hearings of medical professionals.
The board frequently deals with cases in which doctors and other medical professionals have overprescribed narcotic drugs, are struggling with addictions to drugs, are facing allegations of fraud or have had inappropriate relationships with their patients.
Kelsey said abandonment cases are not common, and this case in particular is strange.
“Most doctors, if they're going to retire or quit practice and move, they'll make arrangements for their patients to get records and be treated if they're on any serious medications,” Kelsey said. “This was a situation where he just up and left.”
Board investigators began talking with Chisholm in November after one of his patients called the board's office. The patient told staff members that Chisholm's office was closed during normal business hours.
A board investigator emailed Chisholm, and he responded that same day.
“I am burned out from running a solo practice for 10 years,” he wrote in the email. A day later, he told the board he planned to drop off his patients' medical records with a local colleague for them to pick up. But a nurse at that doctor's office later told the board investigator that Chisholm never followed through.
Throughout November, Chisholm's patients continued to contact the board, concerned over their medical records. On Nov. 27, a board investigator told Chisholm about his patients' concerns.
Chisholm told the investigator via email that he apologized for any inconvenience. That apology was the last time the board heard from him.
Before Thursday's board meeting, Chisholm never had been disciplined by the board, according to the board's database. Kelsey said if Chisholm had correctly closed his practice, lining up a way for his patients to get their records and continue their medications, he likely wouldn't have had a case before the board or lost his license.
Chisholm, 44, had an office in Lawton in the Bethlehem Professional Building on Gore Boulevard.
He graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1987 and then received a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1991. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine with a medical degree in 1996, according to the board's database.
From 1996 to 1999, he pursued a postgraduate family practice degree from the University of Texas Galveston branch. In the midst of that, he served as a team doctor for Clear Brook High School in Texas.
However, under his “Practice History” on the medical board's website, Chisholm lists that he was a “beach bum” in Galveston who specialized in “football” from 1999 to 2002.
In June 2002, he lists opening his practice in Lawton. He received his medical doctor license in November 2001. Eleven years later, in November of 2012, his license expired.
On Thursday, board members discussed whether they could vote to revoke an expired license. Members discussed legal precedent, and after an executive session, voted to revoke Chisholm's license.
“We just felt like, technically, he could go anywhere and be licensed there and pick up practice, and they would not know what happened in Oklahoma,” Kelsey said. “We asked the board to take official action, which they did.”
A records search through the Comanche County Courthouse indicated that Chisholm owes thousands of dollars to the state and federal government.
He has seven federal tax liens against him from the Internal Revenue Service. One IRS lien filed in July 2012 is for $54,342. Another filed in June 2012 is for $83,345. Chisholm also has liens from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, totaling thousands of dollars. Records indicated that only one lien has been released.
Multiple phone calls made attempting to reach Chisholm and his family were unsuccessful. A phone number to his medical practice has been disconnected.
“No one knows where he is, including his mother,” Kelsey said.