Michael Clair, a 53-year-old former dentist in Massachusetts, pleaded guilty Friday to a slew of charges including accusations that he used paper clips instead of stainless steel during dental procedures…..instead of the stainless steel posts that are normally used in root canal operations, Clair used sections of paper clips — which can put patients at risk of infection and tremendous pain — in an effort to save money.
[H]is other charges include assault and battery, larceny, tampering with evidence, and illegally prescribing prescription medication— Hydrocodone, Combunox, and Percocet — to other staff members.
Clair….was suspended by Medicaid in 2002, but continued to file claims – $130,000 worth – through June 2005 by using the names of other dentists in his practice, according to prosecutors. Inquisitr.com
Dentists are scary enough when they’re not trying to inflict damage. They’re people who lost their first choice of careers when the Inquisition ended. Their tools and techniques would fit comfortably into any Lord High Executioner’s playbook and training room. Hopefully, this guy is the only one who bought his medical supplies at Staples.
What is it about professionals — often highly educated, professionally trained, credentialed and certified — that so many lose their focus and embrace the dark side, stumbling downward on slimy stiles into a hell of their own construction? The physicians caught in the pain clinic scam. The Medicaid/Medicare scammers. Investment counselors turned Ponzi schemers. Psychologists of any stripe and kidney, who are the equivalent of gypsy fortune tellers.
When it comes to doctors and dentists, it seems like Florida has more than its share. I’m not even including the guys in Miami who practice out of the trunks of their cars. But it runs the gamut. Drywall patched with toothpaste. Baking soda to stop radiator leaks. Windex for skin cancer lesions. Fix-A-Flat injected in buttockses (or whatever the plural is).
The last word belongs to one of my literary and spiritual muses, Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devils’ Dictionary, who defined Dentist as “ A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.”
Note “metal.” As in, paper clips? Bierce would have simply shaken his head.