I have been a physician in Fond du Lac, WI since 1992, with an independence psychiatric practice since 2006. I am proud of my practice, and I appreciate the support of patients who have invited me to be involved in their care. I have am proud of the good press I’ve received, including being featured in a front page, Sunday edition of the New York Times in November of 2013 that described my Fond du Lac practice. I do not belong to insurance panels, so ALL of my patients choose to see me because of the care that I provide, rather than because of the decisions of their health insurers.
I’ve collected some bad press as well—often for reasons beyond my control. Some examples…..
Besides my clinical practice, I sometimes provide testimony for cases before the State or Federal Court. I have testified in child custody cases, which are probably some of the most difficult and emotionally heated parts of my practice. Such cases have ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, and people sometimes try to hurt my reputation out of anger.
I sometimes have to discharge patients who use controlled substances inappropriately, such as trading or selling medications. Again, people discharged for that reason often hold grudges that prompt them to comment negatively in review sites. Such situations are frustrating because even in the case of dishonesty, I am bound by confidentiality rules that prevent me from discussing specifics of the situation.
I provide editorial content for a number of companies, including PsychCentral.com and Rehabs.com, and I am asked to provide ‘provocative’ material. Now and then a reader takes a good discussion too far, and tries to tarnish my name out of anger. Finally, the web site ‘Pro Publica’ is funded by George Soros to go after doctors who work(ed) for pharma. I used to work for a number of companies when I was growing my practice, giving lectures to other doctors about new medications, giving feedback to companies about new medications, and even sitting on panels to discuss the proposed names for new medications. The work helped pay the bills, and consisted of…. work! It was not something I would do for fun– getting up early to make the 6 AM flight out of Milwaukee, and sleeping in hotels in the middle of nowhere…and I’m not sure why George Soros has an issue with it. I have a history of getting addicted to cough medicine 15 years ago, and the Soros site chooses to keep that history alive.
The most frustrating ‘review’ I’ve received was a case in 2009, on a web site called ‘the Rip-Off Report’. At the time I was receiving a number of calls and emails from readers of my blog ‘Suboxone Talk Zone’, asking for help with their own or family-member’s addiction. For efficiency’s sake, I produced 2-hour-long recordings that described treatment options for addiction, and sold them for about ten dollars each. A purchaser of the recording was angry that I recommended AA, as he did not believe in what he called their ‘religious approach’ to addiction. I refunded his ten dollars, but made the mistake of responding to his anger with my own anger—which he published on the Rip-Off Report. The site is being prosecuted for running extortion campaigns against physicians.
Given that he was never a patient and they had it listed in the ‘doctor’ section, I asked the web page to remove his comments. The owners of the site offered to ‘look into removing the remark’ for $8000. When I refused, they offered to review it for $4000, and then eventually $800. I decided at that point to contact the person who left the review—and if you read it to the end of his comments, you’ll see that we ended up apologizing to each other. But the Rip Off Report refused to remove the comments even at HIS request—unless I ponied-up $800. I decided ‘opt out’ of their blackmail, and the link lists high in searches of my name, to this day.
If you have ANY concern about something you read, I encourage you to contact me at my main email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Likewise, if you are uncertain whether I would be in a position to help you, feel free to write. There are things psychiatrists can do…. And things we cannot do. I have NO interest in wasting your hard-earned money in cases involving the latter!
Thank you for taking the time to consider my practice.
Jeffrey T Junig MD PhD