Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Health Department Shuts Down Unlicensed Doctor

News Channel 10

Health Department Shuts Down Unlicensed Doctor
Investigators Say Patient Was Harmed

POSTED: 11:57 am EDT June 7, 2005
UPDATED: 8:57 pm EDT June 7, 2005

The Rhode Island Department of Health on Tuesday shut down the practice of a man who they claim falsely portrayed himself as a doctor and naturopath. The department said the man was not licensed and one patient was harmed.

The department said John E. Curran operated the Northeastern Institute for Advance Natural Healing located at Richmond Square in Providence. He also maintained an office at 110 Main St. in East Greenwich.

State and federal investigators said Curran falsely claimed to have a medical degree from St. Luke's Medical School and a naturopathic practitioner degree from the American Institute of Natural Healing. Investigators said the degrees are not legitimate and the institutions could not document them.

Curran is not licensed to practice medicine in Rhode Island or any other state, the Department of Health said.

Curran told News Channel 10 that the investigation is a witchhunt. He said he was running a legitimate business and the investigation was prompted by ignorance of naturopathy.

The department said Curran drew blood samples from patients, conducted unnecessary and incorrect tests and provided false and misleading diagnoses to patients. The department also accused Curran of prescribing an alcohol-based medication to a patient with liver disease, which exacerbated his condition.

FeedRoom Video

Doctor Practiced Without License

"Curran is an unlicensed, unqualified person portraying himself as a physician to take advantage of unsuspecting Rhode Islanders. As soon as we discovered that his fraudulent activities have continued and resulted in physical harm to patients, I issued an order to suspend his health practices," Health Director David Gifford said in a news release.

The Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Attorney's Office raided, closed and confiscated equipment from Curran's office for misuse of FDA-approved medical devices and other offenses.

Copies of the suspension order and court documents relating to the federal investigation are available on the Department of Health Web site.