Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Michigan Vet Tamara Dawn Lynch: Felony, Drug Diversion

I don't know where how to classify this, but I am tempted to classify it under the infamous "Vets with Anger Management Issues" category. It might also be classified under the category of "blink and you'd have missed it" enforcement actions by state boards.

In October 2006, Michigan Vet Tamara Lynch was "disciplined by the [Veterinary] Board's Disciplinary Subcomittee . . . [for] prescribing medications for herself using her cat's name, and failing to maintain appropriate veterinary records."

In February of 2007, Lynch was convicted of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon for trying to run her ex-husband over with her car. Well, the Vet Board document says she "attempted" to do this, but the court document (charges) says:

"Count 1: Assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault)
[Lynch] . . did make an assalt upon George Haynes with a dangerous weapon, to-whit: a motor vehicle, but without intending to commit the crime of murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than the crime of murder."

For this, Lynch was placed on probation for 2 years and fined a mere $720.

The Veterinary Board in Michigan is required to suspend the license of vet's convicted of a felony. The public health code says (emphasis added):

"If a licensee or registrant is convicted of a felony . . . the department shall find that the public health, safety or welfare requires emergency action and, in accordance with sectin 92 of the administrative procedures act of 1969, shall summarily suspend the licensee's license or the registrants registration."

So, as required, the Board issued an order of "summary suspension" on Lynch's license. In the Board's administrative complaint, it also referenced the prior violation of Lynch -- prescribing drugs under her cats name which she took herself.

In its administrative complaint, May 24, 2007, the Board stated that the felony conviction "evidences a lack of good moral character . . . ."

Yet, in a document stamped June 12, 2007 -- about 3 weeks later the Michigan Department of Community Health requested that the summary suspension be DISSOLVED. They declard that Lynch was not a threat to public health, safety, or welfare.

In January, 2008, the Veterinary Board entered into a mutually voluntary consent agreement with Lynch, in which they agreed to keep Lynch's license on probation for 2 years or until her criminal probation was over. In stating its reasons for this decision, the Board said:

"Respondent submitted to a psychological evaluation that was done shortly after her convictoin, with supporting documentation reflecting that she is not a threat to the public. It should be noted that the conviction was not based on a patient-care related issue. Respondent has completed an anger management class and several continuing education courses."

So -- here is the question I have.

Experts have demonstrated that people who abuse, lash out at, attack, torture, [fill in your verb of choice] animals go on to do this to people. For a good explanation of this, see http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/abuse_connection.php.

Why wouldn't the Board be concerned that this connection also goes the other way -- if someone lashes out in anger at a person, tries to run them over with a car, should we not also be concerned that they may lash out in anger at animals? And when their jobs involve handling -- often alone and without witnesses -- the most vulnerable beings, the most vulnerable patients of all, ones who CAN'T later tell you what happened to them -- how could they summarily declare that this person is not a "threat" to health and wellbeing?

Who knows why she did this to her ex. Maybe he cheated on her.

Well, what if your pet gives another staff member more attention than it does to her? Will she hit him?

Maybe they had an argument over money.

If one of her clients has difficulty paying a bill, or argues with her over charges, will she accidentally-on-purpose assault their animal?

Or - heaven forbid -- a scared animal who is in pain and doesn't understand what is being done to him or her should actually growl, hiss, or bite Ms. Lynch. What then????????????? How will Ms. Anger-Management-Issues vet react then? With no one watching? And a patient who can't talk about it later?

Oh, and don't forget that little bit about her writing prescriptions for her cat for drugs that she herself was taking. That was before she tried to run her husband over with a car.

Anyway, is this vet a chance YOU want to take?

A web search today shows a "Tamara Lynch" working at Animal Emergency Hospital in Macomb, Michigan. I can't promise you its the same person, but it seems like a good guess.




Update:  Lynch Response to this Blog.    I am adding this link to permit interested parties to read the response posted by Lynch.  My posting this link in my mind does not negate the foregoing, albeit, the blog on Tamara Lynch above is not anywhere near one of the worst that appears here, and as she pointed out, does not deal with a patient care issue (although, anger management and drug diversion are big enough concerns for me if I were considering a vet, but each of us must make our own decisions).  However, the way Tamara Lynch chose to deal with the comment/opinion etc. on this blog is reasonable.  If you are unhappy about anything posted here, or on a review of your business, common sense and decency might tell you that the best way to deal with it is to answer it, and in doing so, acknowledge errors or mistakes made.  If your clients have given your business bad reviews, you need to ask yourself why and search yourself for the reasons.  And address them.   Most importantly, identify, acknowledge, and address clearly any quality of care issues at your practice, and implement monitoring to make sure that you keep your word to address them.  Attacking clients is not a good PR strategy.  Neither is threatening them with lawsuits.  It's called free speech, and you have it too.   I think by telling her own side of things on a site she maintains, she is responding to this in a constructive way. Perhaps by adding this link, her blog will get the search results bump she's been seeking for her response to be seen.