Washington Medical Council is investigating Idaho doctor for COVID-19 misinformation

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The Washington Medical Licensing Board has found reasons to open an investigation into Dr. Ryan Cole’s conduct, according to a document obtained by the Idaho Capital Sun.

Cole is a pathologist who owns Cole Diagnostics, a lab in Garden City.

The Washington Medical Commission sent a letter Friday to an individual who filed a complaint against Cole. The letter stated that the commission’s case management team had reviewed the complaint and authorized an investigation.

The complaint alleged that Cole’s medical advice on treating patients with COVID-19 was below standard of care, according to the complainant.

Cole has prescribed ivermectin to at least one patient in Washington, the Sun reported earlier this year.

The Federation of State Medical Boards issued a statement in July warning doctors that they could face disciplinary action if they spread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last month, the Washington Medical Commission unanimously adopted a position on disinformation about COVID-19, saying it “can discipline practitioners who offer treatment and recommendations regarding COVID-19 that are not not meet the standards of care set by medical experts, federal authorities and legitimate physicians. research.”

The Idaho Board of Medicine did not take this position. He adopted other statements from the federation on COVID-19 drugs and masks earlier in the pandemic.

The Idaho Board of Medicine’s next meeting is Wednesday via Zoom.

The agenda indicates that the board will discuss: the declaration of the Idaho Crisis Standards of Care, the board’s jurisdiction over discipline, and the process for introducing new legislation. The board will not accept comments from the public. Any disciplinary action he considers will be discussed in an executive session where the public will not be able to see or hear the proceedings.

Visit ibom.idaho.gov for a link to the Zoom meeting and a copy of the agenda.

Friday’s letter from the Washington Medical Commission said an investigator would conduct interviews, collect documents such as medical records and speak with Cole.

“Once the investigator has completed the investigation, he will write an objective report,” the letter said.

After a member of the commission reviews the report, a panel of commissioners consisting of physicians, physician assistants and members of the public will review the investigation and decide whether Cole “met the standard of care,” the report said. letter.

“Washington law loosely defines standard of care as the exercise of the degree of care, skill and learning expected of a reasonably prudent healthcare professional in a similar situation,” he said.

The letter also explained that Washington law “essentially states that incompetence, negligence or malpractice which results in injury to a patient or creates an unreasonable risk of harm to a patient could be considered unprofessional conduct.”

Disciplinary proceedings can take months, according to the commission.

In his application to join the Central District Board of Health, Cole’s resume stated that he was licensed in 11 states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. .

The Sun has confirmed its license to practice in nine of those states. His Nevada license expired in June and his Oregon license expired in January 2020. Cole has no disciplinary action on file in any of the states.

Cole was first licensed to practice medicine in Washington in 2007.

The Idaho Medical Association recently filed a complaint against Cole with the Idaho Board of Medicine. The IMA alleged that Cole was practicing outside of standards of care for Idaho doctors, highlighting his public statements about prescribing COVID-19 patients through telehealth platforms.

Cole responded to that complaint in a statement to the Sun that called it “unprofessional,” but did not respond to claims that his patient care was not up to Idaho standards.

“There are many ways to care for patients, and in times of crisis, as we experienced last year, our profession needs to come together to look at all the ways we can provide optimal medical care,” said Cole in the press release. “I am an experienced and educated physician with the power to analyze data and share medical science. … We can do better as a profession than silencing those with a different perspective.

Since then, Cole has not responded to questions from the Sun via email, phone and text.

The anti-vaccination group Health Freedom Idaho has launched an “I Stand With Dr. Ryan Cole!” Campaign, urging subscribers to send emails of support for Cole.

“EMAIL – This bogus complaint is an attempt to arm the Idaho Medical Council against our medical professionals,” a mass email from Health Freedom Idaho said Sunday.


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