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Designated Doctor Fined $5k and Must Complete Professional Standards Essay

DWC investigated Designated Doctor Michael Martin Leonard, M.D. in five separate claims and found that he made an unnecessary referral for additional testing, failed to attend or reschedule a DD exam, failed to review medical records before the DD exam, failed to conduct a DD exam in a professional and courteous manner, and failed to timely submit DD and work status reports.
In one claim, Dr. Leonard referred the employee for a neuropsychological evaluation but acknowledged in his report that a strain was the only compensable injury. He did not refer to the evaluation in his report or explain the reason for the referral. In another claim, Dr. Leonard was found to have treated the employee in an unprofessional manner when he told her he was referring her to another provider so she could “get an A on it this time.” (We’re not sure exactly what that means either).  
In addition to being fined $5,000, Dr. Leonard was ordered to complete the Professional Standards essay offered by Ethics and Boundaries Assessment Services, LLC (EBAS). This prompted us to ask what is EBAS and what is a Professional Standards Essay?  

According to EBAS’s website, “EBAS partners with the regulatory community, offering an exam that assesses a licensee’s understanding of ethics and boundaries in a professional setting.”  Its motto is “protecting the public through effective ethics and boundaries assessments of regulated professionals.”  EBAS’s website also includes a sample Professional Essay about a physician engaged in a personal relationship with a patient followed by questions about the essay.  

EBAS says that its essay exam is “a tool used by regulatory boards in determining if an individual is safe to return to the professional workplace.”  Test takers are required to take the essay exam at a Prometric Testing Center, presumably to reduce the likelihood of cheating.

The essay is graded by EBAS graders.  It has a maximum score of 16 points with 12 being a passing score.  Interestingly, DWC’s order just states that Dr. Leonard has to complete the essay exam, not that he has to pass it, although that was surely intended.  

You can read DWC’s Consent Order here: Order Number 20238317.