Officials in Mississippi are allegedly demanding that a doctor who treats low-income residents out of his car give up his medical license, WLBT-TV reported.
“They’re trying to strip me of everything, really,” 88-year-old Carrol Frazier Landrum said. “It was rock bottom.”
Landrum, whose state medical license is listed as valid through June 30, has operated a mobile practice for the past two years in the town of Edwards, a suburb of Jackson. He is the town’s only practicing physician, and has been certified to practice in the state for the past 55 years . But the state Board of Medical Licensure reportedly asked him to surrender his license.
According to the Washington Post, Landrum was declared “incompetent” at a recent hearing.
Landrum refused to comply, saying that the board is accusing him of incompetency because it has no specific grounds for revoking his license. He also accused officials of investigating him only after discovering that he meets patients in vacant parking lots or drives to see them.
“They want me to surrender my medical license on my own, and if I don’t, I’ll have to have a public hearing,” he told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “They told me it would harm my reputation if it got that far.”
The board’s executive director, H. Vann Craig, did not confirm whether Landrum was under investigation and said he could not comment unless it took action in Landrum’s case. The board has not set a date on which to discuss the matter.
“The mission of the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure is to protect the public,” Craig said.
However, WLBT reported that state officials have not followed up with further documentation on the case.
In the meantime, Landrum has continued his practice. He sees about three to four patients a week and treats them for minor ailments, and has driven as much as 50 miles for appointments.
Landrum has also been backed by not only residents in Edwards, but an online petition which has amassed more than 40,000 signatures and out-of-state supporters.
One woman, Cindy Gaffney, told WLBT that she is working to provide Landrum with a medical mobile unit which can house his files and allow him to keep seeing his patients.
“I have some connections within the teaching hospitals within Illinois and I reached out to some of them because they do have outreach programs that assist rural communities in providing medical care,” Gaffney said. “We are in the early stages of having a discussion on what the possibility is of getting some assistance down there.”
Landrum has a history of practicing outside of a standard office. For 20 years, he said, he treated patients out of an apartment complex in town. But an increase in crime around the neighborhood forced him to leave. However, he said, he stayed in Edwards after requests by several patients.
“I’ve always had a heart for the poor,” Landrum told the Post. “I grew up poor, and when the doctor would come to us, and he was happy to see us, I pictured myself doing that some day. I try not to ever turn people away — money or no money — because that’s where the need is.”
Watch a report on Landrum’s fight to keep his license, as posted by the Clarion-Ledger, below.
[h/t The Free Thought Project]