‘Patients Are People Not Numbers,’ Says Letter to the Editor Supporting Dr. Connie Basch

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Letter to the editor

[Background Image from By Johnny_Spasm via Wikicommons]

To our community,

I am a 56 year old female living in the rural, isolated, and medically underserved area of Humboldt County, California. I am also a very grateful patient of Dr. Connie Basch.

Like many of you, I have become aware of a complaint the Medical Board has filed against Dr. Basch. Personally, I find it shocking and bordering on a witch hunt. The allegations against Dr. Basch do not offer much consideration for individualized patient-centered care. The Medical Board appears to be using a cookie cutter approach to place us all in the same box. I for one am very alarmed by this. My physician knows the details about my medical conditions and how my body tolerates medications, not a medical board out of Sacramento.

In my experience Dr. Basch has always been very thorough with her medical care. I have the utmost respect for her. She is a brilliant and very compassionate physician working countless hours to provide the highest quality of medical care possible. Dr. Basch provides clear instructions while carefully explaining treatment plans, medications, tests, referrals, and other recommendations both verbally and in writing at the end of every appointment. I have access to handouts, lending libraries, supplements, integrative medicine, acupuncture, neurofeedback, nutritional consults, virtual visits, health coaching and guided imagery, pain classes, and access to her via email 24 hours a day. The quality of care she provides me, and I’m certain for her other patients too, is unlike any other I’ve ever received.

Humboldt County currently has two physicians practicing medicine while being on probation. One for sexual offenses and battery, and the other for multiple DUI’s. They are allowed to practice medicine in our community. There are no such allegations towards Dr. Basch. Out of a few thousand patients the medical board found 5 of her patients who didn’t meet their guidelines for pain management. That’s it. With no regard to her experience caring for these 5 patients and her deep understanding of their medical needs, they filed charges and are now headed down the path of revoking her medical license. If this is allowed to happen it will be a tragedy to our community. Where will everyone go?

Our community is in a medical care crisis. Many residents have no primary care physicians and our emergency rooms are overflowing. I’ve personally sat with someone 13 hours in the ER waiting room while witnessing someone pass out from pain and fall to the floor. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Basch in our community. She takes on the most challenging patients that other physicians have turned away. She devotes her life to educating and improving the life of her patients. I applaud her stand on taking care of her patients as individuals. I want my medical plan specific to me and not a blanket across the board.

Please consider the impact this will have on our community. Get involved, stand up for our rights to have safe, compassionate, personalized care. Write letters and talk with your neighbors. What the medical board is trying to do is unjust and terrifying. Where will it stop if we don’t stand up and speak our truth? What will they take away next? This is a witch hunt for a Medical Board executive to get another star next to her name. We need media coverage and for the truth to come out. Patients are people not numbers.

Sincerely,
Karen Bertenthal

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Connie
Guest
Connie
3 years ago

Great letter, Karen. Could you provide us with information as to where we should send letters? Is there a petition? Some concrete ways of helping Connie would be really useful.

patient
Guest
patient
3 years ago
Reply to  Connie

Please let us know when the medical board plans to meet, so that we can help.

Evelyn
Guest
Evelyn
3 years ago
Reply to  patient

Yes!!

Anne D.
Guest
Anne D.
3 years ago
Reply to  Connie

I was a patient of Connie’s for a short time before I moved away back in 1998. I presented at her office with an extremely rare and difficult illness that required her to take a big chance on me as a patient/person that she had only just met. Never the less after a long interview and some time to consider her options, she was willing to take that risk in the interest of helping a young man in an extremely difficult position. She probably wouldn’t even remember me or my case without SOAPS Notes but to make a long story short, I really believe she saved my life. I had always wanted to come back someday and show and tell her what she had done and how she had impacted and influenced that young man’s life. All of that is why I found this news so troubling the other day when I heard the news of this. Please do let us (I know there are others) know who we can write or where we can go to provide personal and professional testimony on Dr. Baschs’ behalf..

LostCoastEMP
Guest
LostCoastEMP
3 years ago
Reply to  Anne D.

Maybe we should install “ free” healthcare to 99% paid for by the 1% and wait up to three years for an appointment from a sub standard Dr?

M. D.
Guest
M. D.
3 years ago
Reply to  Connie

Denise Pines, Chair, and the California Medical Board, 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200, Sacramento, Ca 95815.

Pamela R Maxfield
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Connie

Hello.
I am also one of Connie’s patients. I am just sharing some thoughts here. It seems that figuring out who could affect the outcome of this investigation, in a positive way, and who is most influential in the movement to take her license away, and dealing with them, is the priority.

Today, I wrote quite a long, and detailed letter to Gavin Newsom, regarding how beloved, admired by, and valued, Connie is to our community. I then addressed the actions of the state medical board, and asked him to consider intervening in any way possible.

After that, I went to the documents regarding Connie, on the state medical board website, and have been studying them. It is important to be knowledgeable before approaching them. The members of the licensing committee, and of the enforcement committee are listed on their website. I have to find out which of those two committees is the one relevant to Connie’s situation. Tomorrow, I am going to begin calling and asking to speak to those people, and also send an email to each of them. If they are receptive to seeing me, after discussing this matter over the phone, I am going to ask for appointments in order to speak with them in person, in Sacramento. Of course, we are drawing closer to a decision on their part, and I imagine their schedules are hectic.

It is heartening to know that so many of us are taking action, and figuring out what each of us can do; onward!

Willie Caso-Mayhem
Guest
3 years ago

🕯🌳If the doctor is seriously trying to help people with their opioid addiction then let her be.

Mike
Guest
Mike
3 years ago

Is supplying helping? I think that’s the whole point. I don’t know her and she should be given the benefit of doubt, but every doctor should be imvestigated if they are overprescribing any pain killers. I know many people who abuse the system just as bad as the 215 system was abused.

Guest
Guest
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

I read what was posted on John Chiv’s blog and what showed was that the doctor did not cut off drugs supplies to someone who might have been abusing them in what the complainants felt was a timely manner. Not that she did not act but they thought not fast enough. Apparently the Medical Board doesn’t live in Humboldt Co where family doctors and internists are, by regulation, run off their feet trying to keep up while trying to earn enough to pay for all the required paper work while dealing with a massive drug addicted community.

Gina
Guest
Gina
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Correct. You don’t know her. I do. I am one of 1,400 patients to whom she makes house calls, answers emails in the wee hours of the night, and sees regularly. Squeezes people in well past office hours. Some people need help with pain. Dr. Basch weighs every consideration with care. I know this. After the CDC released *new* opioid guidelines in 2016, which didn’t take chronic, long term diseases into consideration, for which pain is a part. At that time, like everywhere else, meds and dosages needed to change by law, not based on any individual or medical case or history. Dr. Basch helps us all individually and the majority of her patients believe she has saved our lives. I, personally, searched for a doctor for 4 years with my condition, until I found her. Then it was a nine month waiting list to get into her office. It was worth every second of that time. We can’t only focus on pain medication, which is being followed by law, there are a multitude of ailments she sees people for. I’ll be personal and let you know I’ve recently had another health burden cross me with a new diagnosis of epilepsy, that we learned about with me badly injuring myself. My insurance won’t cover more than a month’s worth of *any* medication. I *cannot* stop that suddenly. I have medication that stabilizes my brain chemistry. I *cannot* stop that immediately. In a nearly unforgivable amount, this area is highly underserved in regards to medical accessibility. Having Dr. Basch removed from her practice in Arcata will put an *enormous*strain on the community. I won’t ever not have my medical issues. I *must* have this care. Dr. Basch helps patients with end of life care. They *must* have this care. I would truly appreciate the public as a whole to not write denigrating remarks about our care and our doctor, without considering every, single one of us who rely on her *with our lives*.

Evelyn
Guest
Evelyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Having studied under Dr Basch as a student FNP- Family Nurse Practitioner, I saw & experienced her compassion, wisdom & thoroughness with each client she saw. Dr Connie is a rare breed these days. She actually listens involves the client in their own care and I know that she does NOT peddle drugs especially dangerous ones! She has background as a biochemist She understands how the body works whether it be conventional allopathic, Eastern, Aruvedic or Complementary medicines, she practices true integrative medicine. Having been a midwife prior to nurse practitioner I have seen over the last 40 plus years how bureaucratic, supposed Pt centered care, often pharmaceutically supported practices have confined themselves & r health suffers getting worse each year! Humboldt Co is a vastly underserved rural area & to treat one our most beloved Drs in such a way is a disgrace! Shame on them!!

Ginni Hassrick, LCSW
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

This is a shame. Shame on the medical system for being so broken! Shame on the legal system for responding in the way it should not! If one client overdoses on a prescription, that is a choice they make. I know that Connie has weaned so many off of their pain meds and onto mind-body work. I know that many of those in her pain group could not survive their pain without their medication. These people are victims of auto accidents, violence in their childhood, and illnesses which are incredibly difficult to live with unless there is something to assist with pain management. Many of my clients live with incredible amounts of agonizing pain. Many have diseases which cannot be cured but simply treated. There is no other method to treat some of these people than painkilling medication in responsible doses. These are not horses that we take out to the field and shoot….they are humans in distress. We cannot afford to lose Dr. Basch! We have lost too many doctors and many of them not as wise nor as caring as Dr. Basch! I have sent most of my patients to her if they have long term healthcare needs. She has not encouraged them onto pain medication, but has looked to alternative methods. Please support Connie Basch!

Rose potter
Guest
Rose potter
3 years ago

It’s beyond time thus community of Drs rallied behind thievunusual and superb physician
To lose her would be disastrous for this community
She is a brilliant caring mother Theresa who at great peril to her financial health and her own being has seen multitude ms of patients who no one has been able to treat
She sees the sickest most destitute patients in more than one county
People see her from all her…
She is someone who can offer many alternatives to pain control such as accupuncture and other therapies…
We all need to go after the medical board for this ridiculous witch hunt
Roseann potter

Yvonne Mondragon
Guest
Yvonne Mondragon
3 years ago

Yes she is seriously helping people with and without pain meds. Dont say addiction because it is not an addiction if you take it only when needed. Dr Basch is my doctor and i was started on opioids from a different doctor and was referred to Dr. Basch who yes, continued with pain mgnt with opiods, supplements, classes, tests and everthing to help me. Last November with the help of Dr. Basch I went off methadone. I was tapered off. I hate to think of what will happen to all those patience if they are just told you cannot have anymore pain meds. Oh my God there will be so.many sick people and people hurting. Lastly being on opiods for.pain never led me to anything else. I and many others, I believe are not heading toward heroine or meth. This Fact must be considered. All this is unbelievable and i will fight tooth and nail to help Dr. Basch keep her practice for reasons that have already been mentioned. She is an awesome, caring, philanthropist and loves her work and is.being treated extremely unfair!!!!!

Gina
Guest
Gina
3 years ago

Me too and I’m trying to right these comments.👊🏼

Barbara Keating
Guest
Barbara Keating
3 years ago

@ Karen, well said; it’s my experience too. Here’s what I posted to NextDoor Blue Lake & surrounding areas:

Citizens of Humboldt County: Dr. Connie Basch of Full Circle Integrative Medicine in Arcata, is in urgent need of our help and support.

A few days ago, Dr. Basch contacted her patients and advised them that the California Medical Board is considering pulling her medical license. Here are some excerpts from the letter I quickly prepared, and presented to Dr. Basch’s office. [ Note: I am not sharing specific, personal medical issues here that was included in my letter to the Board.]I also made a donation to help defray the legal costs she and her practice will incur; it was the least I could do after the sterling medical care I have always experienced in her care over the years. In the wholly appropriate push for oversight of nefarious, greedy doctors and pharmaceutical companies…it appears they are targeting those practitioners who approach this thorny subject in a sane, safe, caring deep-partnership with those patients who suffer chronic debilitating pain.

My letter, in part, reads:

“I have never before had a physician who is as attentive, thorough and informative as Dr. Basch. I am an engaged patient and try to learn as much as I can about what ails me… I get a written appointment summary after each visit, which I file in date order, as a record of what we discussed…I’ve never had another doc do that & I really appreciate it. Dr. Basch is clear and informative about treatment protocols and ‘pushes back’ when asked about such-and-such regimen or drug/supplement/herb that I’d heard might help me—you see, she educates me on what is appropriate, and why, and what is not, and why. She is also receptive to information I share—though she almost always already knows about it!

Being fortunate not to suffer from chronic debilitating pain myself, I still panicked—not for me, but for those of Dr. Basch’s patients who do—when I heard the reason for the potential pulling of her medical license. I cannot imagine the stress those patients must be feeling right now…and it is known that stress can exacerbate the pain response. Personally, I agree with Dr. Basch’s take on the CDC opioid guidelines that they unfairly disadvantage those patients who truly need such medications to make life bearable—and I say this knowing someone who chose to end her life because she could not adequately treat her chronic pain. I have been paying attention to this matter, and how the country is handling it, and have followed it with concern for this very reason. A big concern of mine is that Dr. Basch, or any other conscientious physician, will start ‘pulling their punches’ and avoid appropriately treating their patients in need of pain relief. There are, no doubt, medical providers who abuse their role and renege on their oath to ‘do no harm’….please know that Dr. Basch is NOT such a physician, in fact, quite the opposite. It’s greed, plain and simple, and such medical providers/pharma who prescribe wantonly, SHOULD be held accountable.

I will say unequivocally, adamantly and loudly, that Dr. Basch is no pill-pusher or enabler of inappropriate opioid/controlled substance use. I can only say, based on my years of being a patient of Dr. Basch, that if any of her patients are prescribed such a pain relief regimen it would be after careful deliberation, discussion and allied/parallel/concurrent treatment. Our small rural area, with an insufficient number of medical providers, is a critical issue as well, and we can ill afford to lose such dedicated and qualified general practitioner as Dr. Basch.

I hope by my narrative you will see Dr. Basch is a caring, involved, respectful physician who puts the healthcare of her patients first and foremost, and who treats them as whole-persons and active partners in their care. Any one of you on the review Board would consider yourself fortunate to have such a medical care provider. I know I do.”
Here is is a link to Full Circle’s website: http://fullcirclemed.org/wiki/tiki-index.php
Please note the information on her website regarding holistic ways to approach pain management…it’s really enlightening, and Dr. Basch works closely with each of her patients—regardless of the medical issues they have. She needs our help now and I, for one, am happy to stand with her. Join me: Write letters of support and drop them by her office—she will pass them along to her attorney; post to online sites such as The North Coast Journal, Lost Coast Outpost and Reheaded Blackbelt and, of course, local papers such a the Times Standard and Mad River Union.

Sigh, this is just so, so wrong! The Medical Board is targeting a hard-working, engaged, appropriate, caring medical provider. Medical Board: Go after the folks who—literally—manufactured this crisis for a profit. You could learn A LOT from this physician if you would just listen & pay attention as well as she does.

Oh! Dr. Basch is going to have to grapple with attorney fees….if you are able, consider donating to her legal fund; I can’t do a lot, but I am doing what I can…every little bit helps.

In support,

Barbara Keating
Blue Lake

Lee Richardson
Guest
Lee Richardson
3 years ago

Drs. need to be able to treat their patients without government agencies interfering. It would be wonderful if the AMA and the government policed incompetency this way. I am grateful for those like Dr. Basch who realize that some patients deal with pain on a daily basis. Nobody cared until a rock star or two overdosed, and now opiods are demonized. Why don’t they care this much about the huge heroin and meth addiction rates? Leave qualified physicians alone!

onlooker
Guest
onlooker
3 years ago

This is such a painful story. Dr. Basch provided prescriptions to a member of our extended family, a person who was addicted to any opioid that they could get access to. That person was a patient of Dr. Basch’s for years. Dr. Basch was informed face to face of that person’s addiction. When they died with a needle in their arm, an associate of Dr. Basch’s signed the death certificate on Dr. Basch’s behalf, with a drawn-out rationale as to the cause of death, instead of the overdose that was the direct cause of death.

We don’t hold Dr Basch or anyone else responsible for the choices or decisions of an addict. We believe that the person we lost would have died of their addiction, by prescription drugs or by the street drugs they supplemented with when the prescriptions ran out. But enablement, excuses, and misplaced kindness or support of that addiction made it worse, because the addict was able to continue to rationalize their behavior,because a bona fide doctor said it was okay.
And a rationalized reason of death that avoided the direct cause is still a source of pain and bitterness for the survivors. I know, from personal experience.

Patient
Guest
Patient
3 years ago
Reply to  onlooker

Question? Did Dr. Basch supply the needle & drugs that killed your extended family member? & how long was it after there prescription ran out did they turn to the street drugs? Dr. Basch would not be the first doctor to not see that a patient was in crisis. I know this from personal experience, for it is not always easy to see when one has as many patients as most have in Humboldt. How about instead of taking her license away, she gets some extra help, some extra training, instead of taking a really good doctor away, in a community that is already in dire need of more doctors. I understand both sides of this issue. I also lost a family member to street drugs, but I was also a patient from another doctor when I was becoming addicted too. I stopped prescription medication on my own when I felt it was becoming an issue. I am also a patient of Dr. Basch & she has been very instrumental in helping me with many health conditions. I hope Onlooker will be able to forgive someday, for I saw how upset my previous doctor was when I told him I was starting to become addicted & he had not realized it. My own brother died from a needle in his arm, so I know just how that feels. We need to begin following where the street drugs are coming from & start prosecuting these distributors with murder and start helping our doctors find a way to recognize the signs better.

onlooker
Guest
onlooker
3 years ago
Reply to  Patient

She wrote the prescriptions. When the prescriptions weren’t enough or didn’t last long enough during the prescription/refill period to satisfy the addiction, yes, the person I speak of resorted to street drugs and trips to the ER to try to get more. But when they died, it was a precription overdose, not street drugs. As I said above, addiction is complicated…and part of it is the addict being supported in their addiction by their doctor. Part of it is that overwhelming crave that non-addicts can’t ever fully comprehend. But it seems that enough other people have experienced what we did…too free of a hand with prescribing, not enough critical review of the patient’s drug use, maybe a measure of enabling, even when informed of the patient’s addiction. There’s no happy resolution for this.

Gina
Guest
Gina
3 years ago
Reply to  onlooker

I am very sorry for your loss. Any one of us would be devastated as I’m sure you are. I am Dr. Basch’s her patient. And the care I receive is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. She has saved my life. I’m trying desperately to tread lightly, but each time any patient opens a bottle of prescription drugs we can take it at its recommended dosage, or you can take them all. I’m also not in any way denying that addiction is a disease and I appreciate you understanding, and not blaming her. This area is also bad for street drugs that go in one’s veins. I ask this, what could happen to all of those, perhaps at end of life care, cannot be prescribed as their doctor intended? Turn to the street like your departed family member, where we can’t be sure what is in our drugs. How your case was handled, I won’t speak on. But 1,600 patients she sees, we will be lost and suffering the effects of quitting and withdrawing off drugs such as my, epilepsy and drugs to stabilize my brain chemistry. We’ll all lose her and the community could suffer greatly.

ginni hassrick
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Gina

thank you Gina, you said it so well. We have not had a doctor of her quality and compassion in our community for years. She has been steadfast in her belief that pain is real and we can overcome it with neuroplasticity training and support groups. She has weaned most of her pain patients to 1/4 of what they were prescribed when she took them on as patients. Connie has never been irresponsible in her practice of medicine. If someone died because they overdoesed I doubt it was on the prescription she wrote. However, if they combined street drugs with prescribed drugs, there is nothing anyone can do to save them from themselves. Blaming the physician is easy. Everyone of us has choices, and this doctor is not responsible for the choices each patient makes. It sounds more like a computer aspect failed than a professional medical provided failed. I , too will support this doctor! She is wise, careful, and responsible in her methods.

Pamela R Maxfield
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  onlooker

I am so sorry for your loss of your loved one; you must be, and have been going, through great pain.

I am sure that you know that people being unable to get the dosages of prescription medications they are dependent on, or the exorbitant cost of the “legitimate” drugs, is the reason they move on to street drugs. I hope you do not think that Connie is responsible for whatever drugs were in a needle.

ginni hassrick
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  onlooker

A doctor can prescribe a medicine, but she is not there to help the patient take this medicine responsibly. If this person chose to take too many pills, that is not the fault of the prescribing doctor. It is the choice the patient made. If a person chooses to hang himself, do we blame the rope manufacturer or do we realize that this person was desperately unhappy. Do we blame the liquor companies for the death of a person under the influence? Come on, lets put this in perspective.

guest
Guest
guest
3 years ago

Dr. Basch delivered my kids and I have never before or since met such an intelligent, educated doctor, who also had a gift for teaching her patients how to take charge of our own health.

I remember being in her office w/a complex issue, and she’d show me new research studies, discuss the evidence, then offer options and their pros and cons. She always recommended lifestyle changes, diet changes, sleep hygiene, stress reduction, as the best ways to improve health. The only prescriptions she wrote me were for antibiotics.

She goes into depth about the Medical Board issue and her philosophy on her website, and it’s the explanation I’d expect from such a superb doctor: openly communicating the situation with her patients, discussing the big picture issues, the ethics, the evidence-based support for her actions and her decision-making process about how to proceed. She’s a gift to our community.

Our area needs more people like Dr. Basch. And how about some affordable addiction treatment, while we’re at it? If someone’s addicted to opiates but has other health issues, they need medical support to withdraw. There are only a few dozen beds to serve our entire county.

hmm
Guest
hmm
3 years ago

notice none of the supporters offer details on exactly what the medical board is disapproving of.

Bunny
Guest
Bunny
3 years ago
Reply to  hmm

There is absolutely nothing to hide. Just go to fullcirclemed.org and you can read for yourself. Dr. Basch addresses each point herself. Dr. Basch, whom I have known personally for over 20 years, puts her patient’s care first and foremost. She did not follow the 2016 guidelines, that she does not agree with, because following those guidelines would have put those 5 patients in harm’s way. Her reputation cannot be sullied, she has earned the respect and admiration of the entire community – patients, peers and professionals. She is one of the very best doctors Humboldt County has had the good fortune to have and it would be devastating to lose her.

Anrichrist
Guest
Anrichrist
3 years ago
Reply to  Bunny

guidelines are just that a guide,they are not laws or regulations. and from the sound of it the good dr took those guidelines as such a guide. guidelines do not need to be followed all the time infact they are ment to be strayed from. in history there were medicial guidelines such as zero fresh air for fevers, or bloodletting and the like those guidelines at somepoint were broken and latter proved to not be best practices yet at the time those follower were outraged by thosr not following the guidelines laughed out called frauds etc. in a ever changing world everything is not black and white just as no 2 people are the same. the board needs to realise such and also take this into study

Black Cat
Guest
Black Cat
3 years ago
Reply to  hmm

Why address something that is already out there so clearly and blatantly written for anyone and everyone who’d like to see it? You’ve apparently read it for yourself. I, personally, think it’s a bunch of bull. You take, cherry-pick, a sample of less than one percent of ANY doctor’s patients and perhaps you’ll find things to question or wonder about. THIS doctor is ABOVE reproach and deserves to have the vast majority of patients’ success stories put out there, accounted for, and on the record. This is character assassination at its finest. She deserves better and her patients and those colleagues who KNOW who she is and what she stands for will walk through fire to help her, as she has done herself for so many of us, countless times.

Pamela R Maxfield
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  hmm

To the person posting as “hmm”:
Are you so lazy that you are unable to put your fingers on a keyboard, type for a minute, and locate all of the documents for yourself, rather than expect others to do your research for you, and supply you with the information?

Paul
Guest
Paul
3 years ago

Some of these comments really get to me. Most of us have known for a long time that our government’s regulators have allowed opioids to be overprescribed for years, and thus line the pockets of big pharma. Then the tide changed, as the influx of opium products (think CIA and Afganistan) increased in our country and overdoses went of a huge spike. Now, current policy is calling for judicial use of opioids. The question I ask is what does that mean for a patient? Personally, I believe the experts should be the one to determine that. Let the doctor make his/her case for their patients prescriptions, on a case by case basis, if need be, but get the government out of our medical care.

Cutting anyone off a medication that they are addicted to is rarely a good idea. With opioids, there is always a street market the addict will shift to, leaving a doctor with no way to help their patient. Also, health care plans that pay for medicines that are addictive and that have an annual pay cap should be illegal. If you’re going to supply a medicine then do it. Don’t get some patient hooked, then cut them off cold turkey.

Lastly, this doctor sounds like someone I would trust my health to. Five people out of thousands? Really? She deserves due process like the rest of us. It sounds like she is being railroaded. It also sounds like something known as the deep state in action. No wonder people are pissed off. Rally around her, and don’t let the wolves get to her (I know, that’s not really nice; wolves are good animals; I just couldn’t think of anything else).

sorry about the rant, thanks for reading
special thanks to you kim

Paul
Guest
Paul
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Meant to say “some of these stories really get to me”. Most of the comments here are really good and in support of the Doctor.

Black Cat
Guest
Black Cat
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Beautifully stated, Paul. Dr. Basch deserves our support and our heartfelt thanks, not the doubt and ramblings of people who neither know her nor understand what the medical board is doing to her and is about to do to this already underserved county. Any county would be lucky to have a doctor of her caliber; it’s an absolute miracle that THIS tiny community of people, who don’t have enough access to quality care, has her. Period.

Anrichrist
Guest
Anrichrist
3 years ago

the goverment has no right to decide who must live in pain and how much pain. pain is serious. when the pain is so great one would rather die than endure another moment of it. when all a person can do is suffer through it but even breathing hurts. i guess no one really understands what that is like until they live with it. so easy for others to judge from their high horses i hope thst those who are pushing for lack of pain meds are able to experance just 1 week in thst amount of pain and not be able to find anything to help cope with it,and then be given something that makes that pain go away or fade into something manageable so that they can understand what their rash judgements do to others

She sounds like a great doctor.
Guest
She sounds like a great doctor.
3 years ago

She sounds like a great doctor.

K B
Guest
K B
3 years ago

Dr. Basch has diagnosed and treated me for several different problems that had been missed by other doctors all over the country. For anyone who wants to help, our letters of support are to go to the Full Circle Office for her lawyer to use as needed.

I used to be very legalistic and judgmental. I wouldn’t even use a Tylenol for a headache growing up. But then I started having pinched nerve pain and nerve damage from a variety of chronic health issues along with a car accident. I also have had some severe infections with the severe pain to go with it. I will never judge someone for taking medicine or drugs for pain ever again. I’m lucky that I no longer need a doctor to prescribe pain meds for me, but I am so thankful Dr. Basch is helping others not suffer as much as they would without help. People commit suicide often because pain can be extreme, even chronic pain. I support her 100%

Nalini Cogswell
Guest
Nalini Cogswell
3 years ago

I echo the sentiments of Karen Bertenthal’s letter completely. I am also the grateful and fortunate recipient of Connie Basch’s care. She is the best doctor I have known, with a brilliant mind and a compassionate heart and I am shocked and saddened that she has to endure this ordeal. This would be a tremendous loss for our community!

Jean
Guest
Jean
3 years ago

This is medical McCarthyism. Those who (appropriately and responsibly) use opioid pain medications to treat chronic pain are collateral damage in this latest iteration of a never-ending war on drugs. As many have already stated, the CDC guidelines were never intended to be as narrowly interpreted and enforced as has become the case. This is a nationwide issue But locally, the plight of Dr. Basch and her patients will become that of our wider community: we all know of, or have experienced, the horrendous wait times in the ER….imagine what it will be like when that becomes the default system of routine medical care for these abandoned patients, many of whom have very complex medical issues. Our health system here is already critically overburdened, with a dearth of PCPs, pain doctors etc., most (if not all) of which are not accepting new patients and have long waiting lists. Sick people will not be able to access any meaningful care without traveling out of area. Some will turn to street drugs, some will kill themselves. These are your neighbors, friends, community members.This will have an impact on YOUR life,whether or not you’re her patient.
I have heard Dr. Basch characterized as a “genius” by another doctor. I’ve never met, or been treated by, another doctor with the breadth and depth of knowledge that she brings to each of her patients. Her diagnostic skills are legendary, the number of resources she offers to her patients is staggering . She is totally committed to, totally devoted to her patients’ welfare. She sees us “in the round”, not just as a collection of symptoms. She deserves the support of our entire county (in the form of letters to her office, and the state medical board;calls to our representatives, and in donations to help with her defense).She exemplifies what medical care SHOULD look like…that she is being subjected to this is a disgrace. The Medical Board should be ashamed . We should be outraged and loud in her defense.

burblestein
Guest
burblestein
3 years ago

After reading the above story and comments, I am left with a lot of questions….

Are the Medical Board members doctors? If so, did any or all of them examine the five patients in question? Upon what medical findings does the Board find fault? What allowances did they make for reasonable differences in medical opinion?

And that’s just my initial reaction. Obviously, there are a lot more similar questions that should be answered.

Jean
Guest
Jean
3 years ago
Reply to  burblestein

to burblestein: The state medical board is split evenly (7 &7) between doctors and public appointees. The current president,Denise Pines, is “an award-winning marketer” and a “serial entrepreneur” responsible for “10 startups”…( just thrilled that SHE has a say in my medical care…) I am 99 % sure that only the records of the patients were reviewed, not the patients themselves.I would like to reiterate something Dr. Basch said in one of her posts…that unless you are directly involved with any of these patients,you should respect their privacy…these are their personal records and, as it’s a small community, they could be identified, willing or not. Yes, they are now part of the public record but….None of us were in that treatment room with patients 1-5 and Dr. Basch. We do not know their stories, their bodies or what is best for them. You would want this courtesy and respect extended to you,I’m sure.

Unapologetic
Guest
Unapologetic
3 years ago

My mother went insane thanks to Connie’s over-prescription of opioids. My father met with her and begged her to stop providing her with them, and she refused. Now my mother’s brain chemistry is permanently altered & she suffers from chronic auditory hallucinations, because of her incompetence. She will never recover. When she had her psychotic break and we called her, desperate for help, she never called back, and ended up fleeing the country to avoid families like ours who wanted answers.

She deserves everything she gets.

Pamela R Maxfield
Guest
3 years ago
Reply to  Unapologetic

To: “Unapologetic”:

It sounds as if, at best, you have been, and are, extremely confused, or, much worse, you have been lying, in order to manipulate, and contaminate, opinions about Connie. I have been a patient of Connie’s since 2001; she has NEVER “fled the country”. Perhaps you are referring to when she was suddenly diagnosed with advanced cancer, and was ordered to give up her practice. Her cancer was, probably, in part, due to totally neglecting her own health, giving everything to her patients, and the constant, extreme, stress, resulting from meeting all of our needs. She was given a 10% possibility of surviving at all. In an effort to remain alive, for her young daughter, she had to find a job with a much lower stress level. Because of the job situation here, that required her to leave town, temporarily. She managed to find a position teaching young doctors. She should not have been working at all, but had to, since she had been spending her own savings, and income, in order to support her clinic. She had made a commitment to provide the very best in care, and to receive as little as possible, and, due to her high integrity, and morals, she has always done so.

Regarding your writing that you called her, and your believing that she was ignoring you, or avoiding contact with you: that goes against EVERYTHING I have come to know about Connie, which is a lot; I do not believe that, at all.

Ginni
Guest
Ginni
3 years ago
Reply to  Unapologetic

If this were true you would be forthcoming with your name.

John Frame
Guest
3 years ago

My wife, two daughters and I are fortunate enough to be patients of Dr. Basch for several years.
I became a patient because my previous physician was part of Eureka Family Practice, now absorbed by St. Joe’s, retired voluntarily as a result of similar actions by the ‘Board’. I was ‘assigned’ a new Dr. who wanted to spend no more than the allotted 15 minutes with me. It was not terrible in the beginning but soon became worse as he was told what he could not prescribe. Fear from the ‘Board’ caused him to change medications or stop them completely. One of them was a mild opioid; there are many and the all get thrown into the ‘OPIOID’ basket. The requirement for the medication presented as physically pathological. I never abused or excessively took the medications prescribed to me by the Dr. forced into retirement. Pills do not abuse. People may abuse themselves with pills. These conditions included spine degeneration, joint replacement… Dr. Basch kindly took me as a patient. I am not and have not for a very long time taken any form of opioids.
One of my daughters had to brain surgeries as a result of acoustic neuromas on each side of her brain. There were many complications including severe headaches and other forms of pain. She was a failing patient at Stanford. Through the intervention of Dr. Basch, including alternate treatment, she is much better and opioid free. Nonetheless I am thankful she was able to legally procure pain medication at a time when she badly needed it. It is heart wrenching to watch your child sit and weep as a consequence of pain. Another daughter had severe pathologically evident issues. Not to take more space here Dr. Basch has helped her enormously and not with opioids.
Dr. Basch diagnosed my wife as having congestive heart failure. Her cardiologist had not made that diagnosis. Following Dr. Basch’s diagnosis cardiologists conducted many tests with the result of open heart surgery which saved her life.
Estimates of annual tobacco related deaths is about 500,000, alcohol 100,000, drug related about 70,000. (there are no clear statistics on street drugs alone or in combination with prescribed drugs. Why isn’t there a crackdown on tobacco and alcohol similar to the new wave of ‘opioid fear’? Money and politics are the answer. The government heavily taxes tobacco and alcohol. There is the money. Politics because the current politically correct position is to eliminate opioids. Are we overlooking the individual human responsibility not to abuse?
Each human being has different tolerances and needs best left to the judgment of physicians who have studied for many years to obtain their knowledge rather than a ‘board’ or a collective with a different philosophical agenda.
I am extremely grateful that Dr. Basch has been of enormous support, compassion and knowledge for my family when it was desperately needed. Her efforts have either saved or spared my family’s life, great despair or pain.
Dr. Basch is one of the few sole practitioners remaining in Humboldt County which is critically short of physicians. Most physicians have been absorbed by the medical ‘mill’ or left the county or state as a result of physician oppression. Her continued practice is invaluable.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara
3 years ago
Reply to  John Frame

@ John Frame: Well said. I posted my response upthread—I am gobsmacked that this is even happening. “The system” should be LEARNING from her, not persecuting her good works. I have also written both of our CA Assembly members (Woods & McGuire) supporting her and asking them to look into this. I spoke with Dr. Basch today and she spoke, it broke my heart, of the “public shaming” such an assertion/investigation causes. She does NOT deserve this; if anything, the fact that so many have come to her defense/support I hope is heartening to her. How awful to give pretty much your whole being to being a holistic health provider & giving it all you’ve got, only to be lambasted this way. Not fair, not true, not right. Hang in there Connie!!!!

shak
Guest
shak
3 years ago

Just when Veterans are finally given permission to try Holistic Health if they want. This whole thing sucks. Prayers for the Dr. and for all those who need her support and care.

taraindo energi perkasa
Guest

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