Dear Dr. Kaplan: 'How big of an idiot are you?'

Dr. Michael Kaplan took out a full page advertisement in the R-J Tuesday to defend himself as a doctor. The ad calls him "one of the most respected physicians in Nevada" and a "doctor's doctor."

He had his medical license suspended for reusing single-use needle guides in the biopsy of prostates. You can read the full story here.

When you finish you will see that Dr. Kaplan defends himself in part by saying that he was advised by an unnamed equipment vendor that he could safely re-use his new single-use needle guides. Authorities said that Dr. Kaplan reused the guides, discarding them only when they became "too bloody".

I find it all very hard to understand, especially given what the Las Vegas community has been through with the unrelated revelations of Dr. Dipak Desai, who reused syringes and single-dose vials for anesthetic at his endoscopy centers.

If Dr. Kaplan was a "doctor's doctor" he must have been aware of the Desai case and been thoroughly shocked.

Yet, he trusts a sales rep on a matter such as this?

Authorities will sift through it all and they'll do what they need to do.

In the meanwhile, no matter how it all sifts out legally, there will always be one question for Dr. Kaplan -- "On a scale of 1-10, how big of an idiot are you? A 10 or an 11?"

Postscript: I am a prostate cancer survivor. I initially planned to have my biopsy and surgery done in Las Vegas last summer, but switched to Mayo in Scottsdale because of a complicating factor with heart medication. I trust my Las Vegas urologist. Still do, despite all this. But I have to tell you, if I were a patient of Dr. Kaplan, I'd look at his defense in today's ad and be consoled not in the slightest.


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