From: Rich Willner, President Center Peer Review Justice
To anybody reading this website, the big question is “Is Dr. Leonard guilty?” To us, the independent investigators of The Center for Peer Review Justice, Inc, the answer is very easy. There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that Dr Leonard is NOT guilty. None. Positively none! Why do we say this? Let me give you a short outline as I am typing this at 10:30PM while still at my office. I will add more at a later date.
1. The Nature of Neurology physical exams is invasive. The Neurologist gets “in your face” and in your personal space. While it may be anticipated or not, it might be “upsetting” so some.
2. Dr Leonard is a “Doctor’s Doctor”. He will take plenty of time with a patient so that he can rule out the possible diagnosis in order to come up with the right one. Patients are not accustomed to such a genuine and caring person. As these letters show, and the many more letters that I have on my desk that are not for publication, this doctor is sincere.
3. Dr. Leonard IS different. I have had the opportunity to spend many hours on the telephone with him late at night while I drive home from my office, or when he drives to his very sick and elderly Mother’s home 300 miles away. I am very fortunate to be able to call Dr. Leonard, “friend”.
4. I have a 15 year old daughter who wants to follow all of her cousins in going to the University of Texas at Austin. I asked Dr. Leonard if he would be so kind as to allow my daughter to stay with him. I am a typical overprotective father but I would feel very comfortable knowing that my daughter was staying with Dr Leonard. If what the TV Media reported about Dr Leonard was true, I would never agree to this.
5. The Complaint System in Texas. Texas is the only state that I know of where the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners orders every Doctor to post a sign that encourages “Complaints” on the Doctor to the State Board. This gives the Patient ‘the upper hand’ in dealing with the Doctor. An unhappy patient, FOR ANY REASON, can “report” the doctor truthfully, or she can make up a story. And if a patient is unhappy with the Workman’s Compensation disability determination, which means hundreds of thousands of dollars to a patient, that patient will be angry as a boil and might “get even”.
6. Dr. Leonard’s practice is a rather large one, which he developed over some 20 years. He is one of but 2 Austin Neurologists who take Medicaid. A doctor is quite dedicated to the ideals of healing humanity to accept Medicaid. The patients are time consuming and demanding, the paperwork is punishing, and the pay is poor. But, what motivated Dr. Leonard is the fact that he remembers his late Father’s words that every person is entitled to a doctor regardless of the ability to pay him. Dr. Leonard’s father died 18 months ago, and he will always honor his Father’s words. I understand that. I honor my Father’s words also.
7. Dr. Leonard has a busy practice and, like all doctors, he ‘runs’ from treatment room to treatment room. While one patient is giving a history to his Nurse, a Nerve Conduction Velocity test could be going on in another, and he could be doing a NEUROLOGICAL Physical Exam on another.
Dr. Leonard does not wear a white coat as it interferes with his movement. He does, however, have a habit of stuffing his pants pockets with glass vials of lidocaine, or Celestone, his neurological hammer, and sometimes his beeper or Cell phone. He is in a hurry and just not thinking about it, as highly focused physicians do. It is all too easy for some incidental contact between his pocket and a patient. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would ever think about this, and think that this could mean the end of a highly respected Medical career.