Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dr. Eric Keroack Is Forced to Quit

Legal troubles force Dr. Eric Keroack, head of the Office of Population Affairs, and the man in charge of the federal program that funds birth control and reproductive health services for 5 million poor women annually, to resign:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A controversial U.S. health official, Dr. Eric Keroack, has stepped down from his position overseeing programs that include birth control for poor women, the Health and Human Services Department said.

Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. John Agwunobi released a brief statement on Thursday saying that Keroack, who was appointed last November to oversee a $280 million program that provides birth control to poor women, had resigned.

"Yesterday, Dr. Eric Keroack alerted us to an action taken against him by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Office of Medicaid," Agwunobi said in a statement released late on Thursday. "As a result of this action, I accepted his resignation as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Population Affairs."

Keroack had been criticized by Democrats in Congress because he had worked for clinics in Massachusetts that opposed the use of birth control. HHS has said that Keroack has in fact prescribed birth control to women as part of his practice.

Keroack never responded to requests for interviews to clarify his stance on prescribing birth control to women.

HHS did not give any details about what action Massachusetts took against Keroack.

...

As head of the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, Keroack oversaw a program that funds birth control, pregnancy tests, breast-cancer screening and other health services for 5 million poor women annually.

Keroack previously served as medical director for A Woman's Concern, a chain of Boston-area pregnancy clinics that discourage the use of birth control and advocate abstinence as a way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.


Amid all the rejoicing, allow me to point something out. The reason Dr. Eric Keroack is no longer head of the Office of Population Affairs is a lucky break--some action taken against him by the Office of Medicaid.

Lucky breaks shouldn't be the mechanism by which we insure that the people overseeing funding for women's reproductive healthcare are qualified professionals.

Dr. Eric Keroack should never have been appointed to his position in the first place for one basic reason: he's not competent. It's not that he's controversial--he runs scam pregnancy clinics, and, allegedly, doesn't believe in contraception. It's that he's incompetent*--his statements and writings denote an inability to interpret scientific data. That is (or should be) a disqualifying handicap for any job applicant who wants to head the Office of Population Affairs.

*[Bias Alert: As you know, Dr. Keroack is an Ob/Gyn--the bestest and beautifulest of all physicians. As such, I simply can't bring myself to believe he's deliberately lying, so I'm going with incompetence.]

When Dr. Eric "Oxytocin Magic" Keroack was appointed I did write a post examining his oxytocin beliefs. Unfortunately, it somehow managed to disappear in the bottomless pit that is my drafts folder, never to be heard from again. In view of Dr. Keroack's resignation, and to highlight the magnitude of the dodged bullet, I think it might be a good idea to resurrect the post at this time. [Part I and Part II]

20 Comments:

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't need to worry about Doctor Eric K. anymore - he committed suicide with a firearm this weekend. Quite sad actually..

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger ema said...

Anon,

Do you have a link? Thanks.

 
At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous..........you are an unfeeling jackass. While many may not have agreed with or even believed what he "preached" he had a family....a child, a wife, parents and siblings.......what is wrong with you?

 
At 4:06 AM, Blogger gina said...

I was a patient of Dr.Keroacks before he went to washington and just let me say he was trully a special person and helped me in many ways! i know i'll never meet a more caring person! i recently heard he died and couldn't find out any info no obituarie nothing at all so if anyone has any info at all about what happen please let me know! i am devasted to hear of his death and even more saddened not to be able to fina out anything! thank you gina

 
At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Jen said...

I was a patient of Dr. Keroach and I can't believe he's no longer with us. Despite all that was said about him, he was a dedicated doctor. He didn't enforce his views on me but rather educated me on what was best for me. I will miss him greatly and my deepest condolences to his family.

Jen
Salem MA

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a patient of Dr Keroack,
he was a Really good Dr. He had given me my life back and made me who I'am today regardless of the all political issues....you all should be ashamed of the words used ..he was a great doctor and had never forced any religion practices on myself he should of been awarded Best Doctor of this lifetime GOD BlESS DR K

Christine

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger ema said...

gina,

I wasn't able to find any additional info.

Christine,

In order to be just an ordinary good doctor you need to be professionally competent.

Dr. Keroack was a flaming incompetent. [Sure, it's possible he was a debased propagandist and idealogue, but, as I mentioned in the post, I'm biased in favor of Ob/Gyns, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just a moron.]

he was a great doctor and had never forced any religion practices on myself....

Consider yourself fortunate to have escaped Dr. Keroack's detrimental effect on patients.

Now if only n millions of other women were to have the same chance luck you did, we could just do away with requiring heads of governmental agencies to be competent.

...he should of been awarded Best Doctor of this lifetime....

No doubt that, as soon as Dr. Keroack is done explaining to God why he hurt so many patients (you know, like the ones he was inappropriately psychoanalyzing, etc.), God will get right on the awarding of Best Doctor of this lifetime ornamental mini cup and bath towel combo.

 
At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also a patient of Dr. Keroack. In my opinion, he was an excellent and very caring doctor. I had suffered from P.C.O.S. for over 16 years before HE finally diagnosed and TREATED me. He was the only doctor I ever had that actually took the time to LISTEN to me and try to help. I find it disturbing that people find so much fault in such a caring, compassionate doctor. Maybe he wasn't the best candidate for the position in Washington, but God knows there are several of us here in Boston who think he was a not just a great doctor, but also a wonderful person. God Bless You Dr. K, and thank you for all you did for me. You will be dearly missed.

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Original poster, you have absolutely no basis on which to proclaim the pregnancy health center Keroack a "scam clinic."

Although, maybe you're just against the helping of women in difficult situations, because that's what A Woman's Concern, the clinic he once ran, does. That's unfortunate for you.

(ps, not intentionally posting as anonymous, I cannot log into my own username)

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger ema said...

Anon @ 4:41 PM,

[Y]ou have absolutely no basis on which to proclaim the pregnancy health center Keroack a "scam clinic."

I'm not the one making that claim; it's in the quoted article (emphasis mine):

Keroack previously served as medical director for A Woman's Concern, a chain of Boston-area pregnancy clinics that discourage the use of birth control and advocate abstinence as a way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Although, maybe you're just against the helping of women in difficult situations, because that's what A Woman's Concern, the clinic he once ran, does. That's unfortunate for you.

I realize that the relentless propaganda against proper medical care for female patients of reproductive age can be confusing, but you must realize that providing substandard care to patients does not equal helping them.

 
At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Gina and proud to display my name and even more prouder to say Dr.K. Rocks said...

Leave this man alone! Another thing I love how everybody keeps saying he did all these people wrong and was crazy insane I think someone used the word stupid Ya Go take a look on amherst college class of 82 i believe where he did become a doctor by the way unless the college post bullshit and gives awards to people who are insane and not licensed They talk about how inteligent he was and smart! he was a doctor he had all his degrees he never had any charges against him! And to bad for all you assholes who never had the pleasure to meet him and have him make you feel like you were somebody! Yar what a quack ha? He changed so many peoples lives made people be able to climb out from the rock they were living under and enjoy their lives again! i could go on and on but i don't need to explain what a great man he was to people like you that talk shit about people you never met! Get a Job,life,WHATEVER! This man was still a person,father,son,husband,friend,as well as a truly dedicated caring loving doctor! Who is sadly bo longer with us because of all the people like you writing blogs talking shit about a man you never met! The sad part is you couldn't be so wrong! The last thing someone in his family needs is to come across people like you talking shit! leave him and his family alone and let this man rest in peace! I am so sick of people like you and you all know who you are! Shame on you! I hope god takes it easy on you! I bet you and all the rest of you shit talkers are all for abortion ha! It's just so great that it's legal to sleep around and oops i'm pregnant NO BIG DEAL I'LL GO GET MY KID SUCKED OUT ME MURDER!!! yar that;s so cool that abortion is legal? Give me a friggen brake! Like i said get a job!!!!!!!!!

 
At 11:26 PM, Blogger ema said...

Gina,

*Nobody* is saying he was crazy; just incompetent, based on his public record.

Also, the job of a public health official isn't to stroke people's egos.

Who is sadly bo longer with us because of all the people like you writing blogs talking shit about a man you never met!

That's just a silly, baseless assertion.

I hope god takes it easy on you! I bet you and all the rest of you shit talkers are all for abortion ha! It's just so great that it's legal to sleep around and oops i'm pregnant NO BIG DEAL I'LL GO GET MY KID SUCKED OUT ME MURDER!!! yar that;s so cool that abortion is legal?

And I bet your god is appalled at your poor grasp of the issues at hand and has no intention of taking it easy on you. [See, two can play this game.]

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Rachelle said...

DR KEROACK,
Was my doctor for 10 years.If it wsent for him i would have been dead along time ago.He helped me thru alot of difficult times i could never thank him or his wife donna enough.I feel so lost and heart broken he was a wonderful man who was genuine and truly cared about helping his patients.Know one has the right to say anything bad about him he was my angel and he will always be in my heart.

LOVE ALWAYS,
RACHELLE
REVERE,MASS

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous jean said...

I had the priveledge to meet Dr.K.. He was not only my Dr.,but my daughters as well. He was caring,(try and find a Dr. today that will even listen to you) Took time for each and every patient. I wouldn't believe anything you hear. If anything, people who run medicaire or medicaid are the total incompetents. As far as his personal views, they were Never IMPOSED on either of us. I think you people in Washington are heartless, you believe everything some morons say, without checking out facts and or interviewing and meeting the man. Sure he may have declined and interview (were u mad?) There are other ways, like make an appointment and see him. I bet that never crossed you mind, too much work????? Whatever and however you feel about the great, yes I will say great Dr. K, HOW can you talk so ill of the dead without ever meeting the man. Shame on you and your editors for allowing this nonsense. I have done a little of my own investigating and since when do we not have freedom of speech? And what women did he hurt? Do you have a list, I bet if you took the time to invterview his patients, you won't find ONE! VERY SAD FOR HIS FAMILY, WHO BY THE WAY HAS 5 BROTHERS WHOM ARE ALL DOCTORS, stick that in your hat, and find another job.

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger ema said...

jean,

Sure he may have declined and interview (were u mad?) There are other ways, like make an appointment and see him. I bet that never crossed you mind, too much work?????

You think it would be OK for a reporter, pretending to be a patient, to make an appointment with a physician in order to interview him? Think about it for a moment. Not only would such a stunt be detrimental to actual patients, but it would amount to an ambush of the physician. That's highly unprofessional.

Whatever and however you feel about the great, yes I will say great Dr. K, HOW can you talk so ill of the dead without ever meeting the man. Shame on you and your editors for allowing this nonsense.

Um, when this article was published Dr. Keroack was alive.

I have done a little of my own investigating and since when do we not have freedom of speech?

What does government suppression of speech have to do with the topic under discussion?

 
At 5:31 AM, Anonymous susan martinez said...

I just found out tonight 12/14/08 about the death of Dr Keroack. I am so sad. He was a wonderful caring doctor.ALL YOU PEOPLE THAT DIDN'T KNOW HIM SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES TALKING SHIT ABOUT A MAN THAT WAS VERY SMART AND REALLY CARED ABOUT HIS PATIENTS.HE ALSO SAVED THE LIFE OF ONE OF MY DEAREST FRIENDS.R.I.P. DR Keroack you will be sadly missed by alot of people.

 
At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a patient of Dr. Keroack and let me tell you he was a GREAT Doctor. I went to him at the age of 22 when I first became sexually active. He first brought me into his office and talked to me. He took the time to understand how I was feeling about everything, than he examined me. He went out of his way to assure me that things would be ok. Yes he said the best thing was abstinance but he also said that it was not his choice but mine and if I was to continue having sex, I should be prepared and take care of myself. How many Dr.'s these days take the time to sit there and find out what is going on in your head. When I was hesitant about something he would bring me out on it and we would talk it over. He never imposed his belief on me, he was just there to listen. When I wanted to have a child, he was there to help me through the fears of why it was taking so long for me to conceive. He explained everything to me, the process and test and didn't relent until I understood everything. I truly miss him as a Doctor and the only thing I regret is that he will not be delivering my children. R.I.P Dr. Keroack you are TRULY MISSED!

Yudy
Salem, MA

 
At 10:38 PM, Anonymous BethJenn said...

Dr. Keroack saved my life 6 years ago. If my friend hadn't referred me to him, I don't know what would have happened to me. Dr. Keroack was one of the BEST people I've ever met and his memory will live on in the hearts of many people. Prayers go out to his family, especially his daughter, whom he talked about most often. Thank you Dr. Keroack, you're the reason I became a counseling psychologist.

 
At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Caroline, the daughter said...

Hello.
I am Dr. Eric Keroack's daughter. My father was by far the most decent, loving, and amazing man on this earth. When people like you were dumping crap all over him, he stayed silent, and took it. He was the best father anyone could ask for. I remember distinctly, one night, at about 11p.m a woman called my house, sounding completely frantic. My father took the phone, and continued to talk her out of committing suicide, and stayed on the phone with her for hours. I think people who DO NOT KNOW OTHER PEOPLE should not presume to know what kind of person my father was. I honestly hope people like you rot in hell, because it's people like you who destroyed my father. He's gone forever. I hope you are happy that I will live the rest of my life without a father. I had him for only 16 years of my life- but I wouldnt trade those years for anything. My father was also extremely qualified. I have his transcript from Amherst College, which is almost entirely A's. That's more impressive than any jerk who has to sit around and make fun of my father on the internet, and make a fool of himself. As any of his patients can attest to, my father was an incredible human being- an angel on earth. He would have done anything for me, or for them. He was incredibly compassionate. His practice was not a scam, infact there is still another "A womans concern" in beverly... i don't see you attacking them. Perhaps a man tortured by his own mind was not ready to work in washington. Keep in mind that his houose had just been forclosed on, he had to close his practice, leave his family behind so we could have money, and live with out his daughter (who, in his suicide letter, he credited with keeping him alive as long as he was). Put yourself in his shoes before you post bologna about him. You know absolutly nothing. Thank you to everyone who preserves the beautiful memory of my father. Rot in hell to those who don't. Don't judge my father. He is a man you could never be, and a man you will never know. -Caroline

 
At 3:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also was saddened by the news that Dr. Eric Keroack committed suicide. But not for any of the reasons stated in many of these posts. I was saddened that I did not have my day to confront him at the hearing of my complaint with the medical board. You see, my daughter also thought Dr Eric Keroack was the most wonderful & caring man there was. He was nothing but a "legal" drug dealer.
He prescribed multi controlled substances, such as Klonopin, Vicodin, Oxycodone & Percocets to her. Some over the phone, just for the asking. Did I mention that she was 7-8 months pregnant. He was not her OB-GYN. How many of you out there have ever received any money from their doctor? She was not the only one. He was also under investigation for insurance fraud. An innocent man would not have taken his life.

 

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