Convicted felon Annette Bosworth will close her Meaningful Medicine clinic in Sioux Falls next week, according to an e-mail sent to patients a few days ago. Bosworth tells patients that a “flood of questions” and notifications from insurance companies following her conviction last month on twelve counts of perjury and filing a false instrument arising from her falsified nominating petition sheets for the 2014 U.S. Senate race.
Now you’d think a doctor leaving the field would simply tell patients how to continue their care. I recommend these doctors… tell me where to send your medical files… pleasure serving you… thank you. Modern Medicine offers the following necessary items for a “closing my practice” letter to patients:
- Your exit date.
- The name of the physician taking over the practice, if applicable.
- Names of physicians willing to accept new patients, or other sources of referral.
- How copies of medical records can be obtained or transferred to another physician.
- An authorization form for the patient to sign for the release of medical records.
- Where the medical records will be stored after your exit [“How to Close a Practice,” Modern Medicine, 2004.01.09].
But as usual, Dr. Bosworth’s interactions with her patients are all about her. Rather than separate her personal life from her professional interactions, Bosworth uses her second closing-shop missive in two weeks (review the first here) to remind her patients of her personal suffering, her ongoing persecution, and her certainty that she is Mother Teresa and Jesus.
Below is Bosworth’s latest patient communication. I have highlighted the sentences that seem professionally necessary. The rest are unnecessary drama.
Seventeen days ago the jury returned with a verdict of 12 guilty felony charges. Seventeen days from now Judge Brown decides what my punishment should be for these twelve felonies.
“What are you going to do?”
This question hangs in the air. Some bravely speak it. Others nervously dance around the question. Others plan out what they have in mind for my future.
Grieving. That’s happened for sure. Shock, the initial phase of grieving, swept in right away. Reality slammed in my face 36 hours after the verdict with the first of several notifications from insurance companies.
No explanation merges a 12-time-felon with the role of physician – especially me. The flood of questions from insurance companies smothered any of my ambition to find a way through all this. SELAH.
That is my answer: SELAH. That is what I will do next. SELAH.
Google the word SELAH and you will find a word used seventy-one times in the Psalms of the Bible. The meaning of the word is not known. The Psalms were intended to be sung and SELAH instructs the leader to ‘pause and listen.’
SELAH – take a short interlude. SELAH- the last passage of scripture (of life) was filled with meaning. Take time to pause and listen to what the Lord has for you next. SELAH.
Nobody knows exactly what SELAH means. Just like nobody knows what to do with a doctor that has been convicted of a crime that has never been a crime before. Convicted twelve times. Nobody knows what this means, least of all, me. SELAH.
Here is what I do know: I will always care for people. I will always love people through the Grace that God extends me. The greatest honor of my life has been to be your doctor.. I loved every minute of it. They can take away my ability to prescribe a medication, but they can not take away my ability to care for you. They can not take away my knowlege. They can not steal my passion to serve others.
~You must be willing to sacrifice everything you are for what you could become.~
The rich young ruler was told to give all you have to the poor, and follow Jesus – sacrifice it all.
“A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty ourselves. Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness.” – Mother Teresa
SELAH: Silence in the middle of the song. A short rest to catch your breath.
July 1, 2015, the day of sentencing by Judge Brown marks the end of a chapter for me. My practice will close the prior week.
SELAH. I will pause. I will listen. I will finish my book. I will pray. I will mother my children. I will love my husband. I will care for me. I will serve. SELAH.
Upon your request, I will share the physician I recommend for you and will transfer records to your medical location of choice.
Thank you for the greatest honor I have known. SELAH.
Annette Bosworth, MD [e-mail to patients, received by Dakota Free Press 2015.06.15]
A column published by the American Medical Association says patients should get at least 60 days’ written notice of closing practice (staff should get 90). Bosworth still has her medical license. The judge cannot take that license away. The entity that can, the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, doesn’t meet until September. If Bosworth really wanted to care for her patients and serve others, she could do so through the summer.
But for Bosworth, it’s never been about the patients. It’s all about her.