Dr. Anna Konopka sits in her tiny workplace, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 in New London, N.H.. The 84-year-old doctor is preventing to get her license again after being accused by the state’s Board of Medicine of issues along with her report conserving, prescribing of medicines and medical resolution making. Among the issues is that she doesn’t use a pc so can’t take part within the state-regulated drug monitoring program. (Michael Casey/Associated Press)
By Michael Casey | AP By Michael Casey | AP November three at 9:46 PM
NEW LONDON, N.H. — Holding manila folders stuffed with pages of her handwritten experiences, Dr. Anna Konopka insisted her system for conserving observe of her sufferers’ medical situations and numerous prescriptions works wonderful.
But the New Hampshire Board of Medicine disagrees. It is difficult the 84-year-old New London doctor’s report conserving, prescribing practices and medical resolution making.
Part of their concern is her remedial pc expertise, which forestall her from accessing and utilizing the state’s necessary digital drug monitoring program. The program, which the state signed onto in 2014, requires prescribers of opioids to register in an effort scale back overdoses.
Konopka surrendered her license final month and went to court docket Friday in an effort to regain it.
Konopka doesn’t have a pc in her workplace and doesn’t know methods to use one. Two file cupboards in a tiny ready room inside a 160-year-old clapboard home maintain most of her affected person information. The solely signal of know-how within the ready room is a landline phone on her desk.
“The problem now is that I am not doing certain things on computer,” mentioned Konopka, who emigrated from Poland in 1961 and has embellished her workplace with household photographs and symbols from her homeland. “I have to learn that. It is time consuming. I have no time.”
According to the state, the allegations in opposition to Konopka began with a criticism about her remedy of a 7-year-old affected person with bronchial asthma. She’s been accused of leaving dosing ranges of 1 treatment as much as the dad and mom and failing to deal with the affected person with each day inhaled steroids. Konopka, who agreed to a board reprimand in May, mentioned she by no means harmed the affected person and the problem was that the boy’s mom disregarded her directions.
Four extra complaints have since been filed in opposition to Konopka. The board in September voted to maneuver ahead with a disciplinary listening to on these complaints. But earlier than the listening to was held, Konopka agreed in October to surrender her license — one thing she mentioned she was pressured to do.
Konopka has constructed a loyal following in New London, inhabitants four,400, and surrounding cities as a result of she brings a private contact that’s engaging to sufferers weary of battling mbadive hospitals and inattentive medical doctors. She usually attracts sufferers who’ve run out of choices, many with difficult situations, reminiscent of power ache. She additionally attracts sufferers who don’t have any insurance coverage and little means to pay. She takes anybody prepared to pay her $50 in money.
“I’m interested in helping people. I didn’t go to medicine for money, and I didn’t make money,” she mentioned, noting she works alone and may’t afford issues like and administrative badistant or perhaps a nurse.
Her ongoing combat with the state has prompted scores of sufferers to write down letters on her behalf and name her repeatedly to examine on her case. Several of Konopka’s sufferers attended Friday’s listening to, some admitting they’d struggled since she stopped seeing them.
“It stinks, but you have to find a new doctor, and it’s a rat race,” mentioned Stanley Wright, who noticed Konopka the previous 12 months for power again ache. “The doctor I had before was over-medicating me, and she gives me a lot of herbal stuff and I was doing a lot better. Now, I’m back to being screwed. I don’t know what to do.”
At the listening to, Konopka instructed Merrimack Superior Court Judge John Kissinger that her lack of ability to observe is placing her sufferers in danger as a result of they’re having a tough time discovering one other doctor and getting drug prescriptions.
“If I close my office, they will be without medical care,” she instructed the court docket. “Some of them need medications. Who will prescribe for them if I don’t have a license? I worry what will happen to them.”
Kissinger mentioned didn’t rule Friday on Konopka’s request.
Assistant Attorney General Lyn Cusack mentioned Konopka’s request ought to be denied, arguing the physician has been given loads of time to shut her observe and badist sufferers discover different medical doctors. She additionally mentioned Konopka hasn’t supplied any proof she was pressured to surrender her license.
If she needs to get her license again, Cusack mentioned, Konopka may file for reconsideration with the Board of Medicine.
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