There seems to be no shortage of bad doctor stories going around these days. Just when you thought you’d heard the worst, along comes another.
Dr. Ehab Mohamed, a “cosmetic surgeon” in California, has lost his license to practice medicine and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2010 death of a 61-year-old woman during a 10-hour liposuction procedure performed in his office. She apparently died from an overdose of lidocaine, fentanyl, and oxycodone.
This physician may have trained at renowned institutions. One website says the doctor had been a resident at both Columbia and Johns Hopkins. However, this cannot be verified. His training was in obstetrics and gynecology, and he was not board-certified. He called himself a cosmetic surgeon but apparently had no formal training in cosmetic or plastic surgery.
In addition to the manslaughter charge, he was charged with elder abuse of a 77-year-old woman who also had complications during liposuction.
He charged patients exorbitant fees for procedures, allegedly as high as $650,000, but routinely in the range of $50,00 to $100,000.
He once anesthetized a patient for surgery, and while she was sedated, apparently had her sign for more surgery at an increased fee.
He supposedly offered discounts to patients if they would enroll in a Harvard University study, which was later proven to be fake by Charles Feldman, a persistent investigative reporter for a Los Angeles radio station. The California Medical Board was warned by other surgeons about him 2 years before the death of the liposuction patient.
He has also apparently been living illegally in the United States since his visa expired in 2006. It seems the California Medical Board and most other boards do not check on things like visa status when doctors apply for or renew licenses.
After the death of his patient and the restriction of his license to non-invasive procedures, he started advertising himself using only his first name in an apparent attempt for Internet searches to not reveal his licensing problems or stories about the patient who died.
At some point near the time of the liposuction patient’s death, the doctor was supposedly rushed to a hospital from his office having called an ambulance when complications arose while attempting to perform a hernia repair on himself. The homicide detective who investigated the case said, “That caused me to question whether Dr. Mohamed was in complete control of his faculties.”
When last reported, he was in jail, having been tried and convicted of attempted grand theft for trying to sell $20,000 worth of medical equipment he did not own.
A recent Internet search failed to reveal any new information about him or his whereabouts.
But you will be happy to know that according to his profile on the physician rating site Vitals.com, he still has a rating of 3.5/4 stars. And on UCompareHealthCare, he is at 4/5 stars. If you read the patient reviews, you might suspect that they were not really written by his patients.
Skeptical Scalpel is a retired surgeon and was a surgical department chairman and residency program director for many years. He is board-certified in general surgery and a surgical sub-specialty and has re-certified in both several times. For the last three years, he has been blogging at SkepticalScalpel.blogspot.com and tweeting as @SkepticScalpel. His blog averages over 1400 page views per day, and he has over 8500 followers on Twitter.