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Union of American Physicians and Dentists: Court Appointee El-Sabaawi Practicing Medicine Without a License?
Date:7/27/2009

Psychiatric Care at Five California State Hospitals In Hands of Unlicensed Doctor

OAKLAND, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) has filed a complaint against Mohamed El-Sabaawi with the California Medical Board after discovering that El-Sabaawi appears to be practicing medicine at a number of state mental health hospitals without a valid California medical license. El-Sabaawi's medical license expired on February 28, 2009, according to the Medical Board's own records.

It is not known why El-Sabaawi has not renewed his medical license. The Medical Board website states: "Practicing medicine without a valid license may lead to disciplinary action against a physician."

Since 2006, El-Sabaawi has worked as a court-appointed monitor overseeing changes in five state hospitals run by the California Department of Mental Health (DMH): Napa (Napa County), Atascadero (San Luis Obispo County), Coalinga (Fresno County) Metropolitan (Los Angeles County), and Patton (San Bernadino County). In his work as monitor, El-Sabaawi determines the system of care followed by the state-employed psychiatrists at the hospitals, work which requires a valid medical license.

Psychiatrists employed in the facilities where El-Sabaawi works have been critical of his plan for improving psychiatric care, with many believing that his directives lead to worse outcomes, particularly among the most severe cases. El-Sabaawi's imposition of "treatment malls," in which hospitalized patients with severe mental illness interact with doctors, non-medical staff, and each other in large groups, has been sharply criticized by psychiatrists, who believe the patients need focused, one-on-one care from licensed medical doctors. El-Sabaawi has also done little to recruit psychiatrists to fill the large number of vacant positions at Atascadero State
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SOURCE Union of American Physicians and Dentists
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