Menu

Dr. Ben Carson Loses Medical License Because of “Brainless Comments”-Fiction!

Dr. Ben Carson Loses Medical License Because of “Brainless Comments”-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Dr. Ben Carson has had his medical license revoked in all 50 states after making “brainless comments” on the campaign trail in his pursuit of the GOP presidential nomination.
The Truth:
False reports that Dr. Ben Carson had lost his medical license because of comments that he made on the campaign trail have been fueled by a satirical story published by the Huffington Post.
The story appeared under the headline, “Ben Carson Loses Brain Surgeon License After Making Numerous Brainless Comments,” had been shared on social media sites more than 17,000 times within days of its publication:

Dr. Ben Carson Loses Medical Licens...
Dr. Ben Carson Loses Medical License Because of “Brainless Comments”-Fiction!

The Medical Boards for all 50 States in the Union announced today that they have revoked Ben Carson’s medical license and will no longer allow him to operate as a brain surgeon any where in the U.S. And they cited as their reason Carson’s mental and intellectual challenges — otherwise known as the propensity to sound like a total and utter nutcase.

In a joint statement, the Medical Boards said: We have been increasingly concerned about the gibberish emanating from Mr. Carson’s cerebrum. We cite by way of example his belief that the holocaust could have been prevented by armed German citizens, that straight people go into prison and come out gay, and that Obamacare is the worse thing to happen to the country since slavery.

We are therefore suspending his medical license in any state where he is qualified to practice. And should he choose to come out of retirement and re-apply for credentials, we will not allow him to operate on people’s cerebrums, or indeed cerebullums, limbic systems and brain stems, until he can demonstrate that his own are in fully working order.”

The story appeared in the “comedy” section of the Huffington Post website, but that was lost on many who followed a direct link to the story and were unaware that it was published as political satire.
But, in reality, the scenario that the (fake) news report outlines for Ben Carson to lose his medical license isn’t possible. State licensing boards don’t decide who can perform brain surgery — individual hospitals do, according to a CATO Institute report:

…In the United States, state licensing boards do not decide who actually conducts brain surgery. Medical licensing is not specialty-specific; licenses are given to graduates of medical school who have passed a comprehensive exam.

They are not evaluated for specialty-related training, skills, or experience. Instead of government-sanctioned licensing boards, hospitals decide who may practice neurosurgery. Members of a hospital’s medical staff credential and privilege medical professionals, determining exactly what an individual may do. They verify and evaluate the education, skills, experience, malpractice history, and competency of each individual medical professional before the individual is granted the right to perform specific tasks. Health maintenance organizations go through much the same procedure, verifying a wide range of background information when they establish networks or panels of physicians from whom patients may seek care. They do this because they might be held liable for a mistake made by a credentialed care provider, and because their reputations matter…

So, even if medical boards in all 50 states wanted to revoke Ben Carson’s medical license to perform brain surgeries (which they don’t), they wouldn’t be able to.