A Waterville doctor whose license was suspended in November 2021 for allegedly spreading COVID-19 misinformation and inappropriately signing COVID-19 exemption letters reportedly issued those letters to more than 100 frontline health care workers.
At a hearing on Thursday, Paul Gosselin reviewed letters that he had allegedly written to exempt health care workers from the state’s vaccine mandate that took final effect on Nov. 1, 2021.
Here’s the main takeaways from Gosselin’s hearing testimony;
Lack of medical records
Gosselin testified last Thursday that he did not keep records on the people seeking exemption letters, according to the Portland Press Herald. He also did not seek medical records from people claiming they had previous health issues that would prevent them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
Gosselin’s attorney felt as though he should not necessarily be required to obtain those records because the people seeking exemptions were not patients of Gosselin.
Advertising COVID prevention methods and treatments
At the time that Gosselin’s license suspension was issued, the website for his practice Patriots Health reportedly listed COVID evaluations, unproven prevention and treatment methods — including ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug that is not approved by the FDA to treat a coronavirus infection, and hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug — and a vitamin course meant to combat COVID. The vitamins could be obtained with a one-time payment of $200, and continued vitamins would be supplied through a membership, according to the Press Herald. The type of supplements or their expected effectiveness against COVID was not advertised.
No intake paperwork or screening
Gosselin testified that he abstained from requiring intake paperwork or in-person or telehealth consultations before providing exemption letters, the Portland newspaper reported. For some exemptions, he held phone conversations, or his secretary spoke with people seeking exemptions while he stood nearby.
He reportedly signed letters of exemption for more than 100 health care workers, charging $100 per letter, but eventually stopped charging and eventually stopped issuing the letters as it interfered with his primary practice.
Gosselin’s hearing is operating under state administrative law, rather than in a typical court setting. A hearing officer oversees the proceedings, and will hear from Gosselin and his attorney, as well as from two prosecuting attorneys representing the Office of the Maine Attorney General. The hearing officer will issue rulings based on testimony and attorney presentations.
Gosselin, a graduate of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, has had run-ins with the licensing board before. His license was suspended in 2014, according to board records, for allegedly prescribing himself medication and practicing medicine after ingesting drugs.
He was also disciplined for “unprofessional conduct” in 2002 after calling pharmacies and pretending to be his own physician’s assistant to fill prescriptions, according to the Morning Sentinel, and in 1999, for responding to an emergency call when he had consumed alcohol.