The state medical licensure board on Thursday denied a doctor's request to dismiss allegations of fraud, negligence and incompetence, despite his attorney saying the board has acted in an unfair and biased manner.
In 2010, the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision filed a complaint against Dr. Steven C. Anagnost, an orthopedic surgeon in Tulsa.
Board officials said it was somewhat unprecedented for a case to take nearly three years to come before them. Board members on Thursday voted to hear Anagnost's case Feb. 21 through Feb. 23.
At Thursday's meeting, the board denied Anagnost's attorney Barry Smith's request to dismiss and terminate proceedings.
Smith said the medical board's job, as defined by law, is to protect the public. Making a doctor wait nearly three years to hear his case is not serving the public, he said.
Smith said a medical board investigator, while building the case, approached some of Anagnost's competitors in Tulsa and asked them to review about 140 of Anagnost's patient cases, looking for the worst outcomes.
Smith said based on his review, there has been no other physician that has seen such a delay in a case nor has there been a physician whose competitors were approached to review cases.
“I submit that no physician, no matter how good they are, has a reputation that can survive this process,” Smith said. “It wasn't done to protect the public ... It was not transparent. It wasn't fair, and if it appears impartial and unfair, we believe under the law, the state is obligated to dismiss the case.”
Anagnost specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, a relatively new approach that has met some resistance from the established medical community, Smith said.
In the most recent complaint filed against Anagnost, the medical board lists 23 patients who have suffered various injuries after Anagnost treated them, according to court records.