Doctor Loses License; Former Patients, Attorneys React

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—He’s accused of performing unnecessary surgical procedures on hundreds of his patients. Now many of those patients are celebrating news that the state yanked Dr. Marc Midei’s medical license.

Derek Valcourt has reaction to the decision by the Maryland Board of Physicians.

Many of Midei’s patients are calling this vindication. And for their attorneys filing civil lawsuits, it’s more ammunition.

The 88-page report from the Maryland Board of Physicians blasts Dr. Marc Midei for violations they call repeated, serious and indefensible. So severe they revoked Midei’s medical license.

“That’s what I was hoping for,” said Vicki Marrs. “Happy. He doesn’t deserve to have his license.”

Marrs is one of 585 people who received a letter from St. Joseph Medical Center saying Midei may have unnecessarily given her a stent, a tiny device designed to open up blocked arteries. It’s a charge Midei has vehemently denied.

“What I did is what I would have wanted for myself, for anybody in my family, my mother, my father,” Midei said in October 2010.

But the State Board of Physicians found in four of the five patients cases they reviewed, Midei willfully fabricated information about the severity of blockages.

Marrs says Midei lied about how blocked her arteries were, too.

“Dr. Midei said it was 90 percent and after they reviewed everything it was 10 percent,” Marrs said.

Midei and his lawyer declined to comment on the license revocation, but attorneys for St. Joseph patients say this is good news for their lawsuits.

Attorney Jay Miller says the Board of Physicians’ findings will bolster the 181 lawsuits his firm alone has already filed against Midei and St. Joseph Medical Center.

“It’s proof that everything I’ve said is true, that Midei was committing fraud and putting stents in patients that didn’t need them,” Miller said.

Marrs wants to win her lawsuit, but feels Midei’s punishment should be more than financial.

“I’d like to see him do some jail time,” Marrs said.

Some of the hundreds of lawsuits against Midei could be heard as early as next spring. Attorneys and judges are trying to figure out how they can try dozens of cases at one time so they don’t bog down the court system.

Midei has 30 days to file an appeal of the decision to revoke his medical license. The Board of Physicians says he can try to reapply for his license in another two years.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • Paul from Bel Air

    Why not interview some of Dr Midei’s patients who are grateful that they are still alive because of his work in their behalf?

    Article is very slanted!

    • Mike Ward

      Marc Midei saved my life.

      • James

        It may well be that he was a talented doctor who did good work on people with actual problems; but that would not be any sort of excuse for deliberately performing unnecessary surgeries on patients who are totally fine. I suspect that a lot more doctors than just Dr. Midei engage in this practice; I’m glad this one got caught because it is totally unethical. BUT as opposed to revoking his license completely, maybe they should just fine him a few million dollars–because he’s obviously capable of doing great work and we can’t afford to lose a talented doctor. Another punishment should be in order.

    • jimmy

      I suppose Madoff is a hero in your eyes, too.

      He stole how many billions? But he was such a generous philanthropist with other peoples’ money, just like other scammers.

    • briga

      That’s a great point of view. Hitler built freeways and advanced all kinds of technology. The historical view of him is very slanted. Good grief man.

  • derek

    He is a cardiologist, not a heart surgeon. Very Important.

  • DrJohnClifton

    Rediculous statement, Paul, there is no moral equivalency issue here. The story’s about this doc’s license being yanked by the Board for doing unnecessary surgeries. It’s perfectly logical to cite examples of such surgeries. In his defense, the doc may cite those other patients that you refer to but they and their testimony cannot make doing unnecessary surgeries any less wrongful. The facts should speak for themselves.

    • MAK

      Obviously you aren’t even a doctor. Stents are procedures and not surgery. Very lame to come across as a doctor.

      • maxsnafu

        You have to make an incision in the groin to access a vein to implant a stent. The incision requires stitches to close it. That qualifies as surgery in my book.

      • Leigh Ann Erdman

        Surgery involves anything invasive and involve anesthesia, thus stents qualify as surgery

      • DrJohnClifton

        Surgery: n., medical procedure in which the body is manually cut open to treat medical conditions. (Jonas: Mosby’s Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (c) 2005, Elsevier.) If you’ve discovered a method for installing stents without a surgical procedure, submit yourself for a Nobel prize for medicine. I’ll support you!

      • mdd

        As someone who places stents, angioplasty and stents are not considered ‘surgery’. In fact, several specialties that perform these was considering calling themselves ‘minimally invasive surgeons’ – this was rejected as they are not classified as ‘surgeons’ in Medicine.
        FYI – family physicians make ‘incisions’ for some treatments (e.g. I&D of drainage) – but are not considered ‘surgeons’. Cardiologists, interventional radiologists, etc are also not ‘surgeons’.
        The incision btw is not into a vein in these cases – it’s in an artery. And you do not have to place ‘stitches’ to close the incision – you hold pressure (or in some cases use a closure device).

      • 20yrCathLabTech

        I am not a physician, but I have personally assisted cardiologists in cardiac catheterizatn PROCEDURES for over 20 years. In round numbers, I have done this type of procedure approximately 10,000+ times. (So, I believe I know what I am talking about.)
        “Dr. Clifton” is only partially correct, there IS no moral equalancy here. However, even a medical student knows the difference between a procedure and a surgery. Given that “Dr. Clifton” cannot spell ridiculous, also gives me pause.
        Derek is also right, typically cardiologists implant stents. Surgeons perform coronary bypass surgery, but lately some do implant peripheral stents.
        Maxsnafu is also incorrect; you do not implant a coronary stent from venous access. It is called a coronary ARTERY for a reason. It is implanted via arterial access, typically from the femoral artery or the radial artery. Also, you do not typically make an incision, unless you count a 3-5mm hole as an incision. There are plenty of closure devices designed to close up that access point, but the method of suturing the incision you are envisioning is incorrect.
        I have assisted with plenty of the “questionable interventions”. Even when reported to hospital administration, they usually do nothing because the cardiologists and the procedures they perform are huge revenue generators for those facilities. I hate to say it but this happens every day, all over the country. This physician just got caught.

      • 20yrCathLabTech

        Oops, I mispelled catheterization. sorry.

      • briga

        You must be feeling pretty stupid after seeing the replies to your comment. Public education?

  • DP

    This is more of a crime than robbing someone’s home while they are out of town. This is srobbing their body, while putting their life at risk. There shouldn’t be “some” jail time, he should be locked away for 20 years! Throw the book at him!

    • mdd

      Maybe you should wait until the trial, so his side is presented. Then make your decision.


  • Abe

    If only 25% of this is true, the man is a despicable rat in need of grave realignment.

  • John

    It’s called a second opinion. When someone says you need serious surgery, you go and get one.

    • DrJohnClifton

      John: Are you blaming the victim here? If a group of physicians reviewed the records and concluded that unneeded surgeries were performed by this doctor, why the effort to push responsibility onto the persons harmed by this person? Patients have rights and one of them is to expect that their physicians will treat them with professional skill and, above all, do no harm. Would you not consider unneeded surgeries, with all the attendant risks involved, to be harm?

      • James

        You are right that it’s the crook’s fault, but I think John’s point is that people need to protect themselves by doing their due diligence as well. You can never be 100% positive that someone either has your best interests at heart, or that they might have come to a conclusion that might be dubious, so you check another source. I think John is right, you don’t trust the word of just a single doctor if he tells you that you need serious surgery. If I get taken by a con artist, yes, he is the bad guy for robbing me, but it’s still probably the case that I might have avoided it by using my head a little better.

      • JC Hammer

        It all comes down to doing the math. Are you seriously relying on every single doctor in the US to to abide by a moral and ethical standard of care by putting the patient ahead of his own agenda? How many doctors would you say are only in it for the money? How many doctors cheat the system by signing off on people who are not hurt so they can collect workers compensation or other benefits like disability? Unethical, right? They should check this doctor out and see if he maybe in the market for a new mansion or home expansion project. Maybe he has gambling debts, doing drugs? Second opinions are a requirement these days. Take total responsibility for you own health. Do not rely on the opinions of one man when it comes to your life.

  • clarify

    This problem is worrisome as the easiest patients to treat are the ones with lowest risk. There are a lot of neurotic patients who are convinced that their “chest pain” is their heart, when it is not. A crrok with no morals like this cardiologist preys on these people and makes them feel as if he can save them with this simple procedure. These patients are very vulnerable and HAVE placed all their trust in his judgment.
    He goes in with a catheter and squirts dye into their coronary arteries and then decides at that time whether there is a blockage and if it is severe then he puts a stent in them if the blockage is severe enough, > 75-80% usually. It is not an exact science as to the extent of blockage but usually they are able to tell within 10% how severe the blockage is. Most people are very happy as their problem is solved but a charlatan will take advantage of this and overestimate the blockage until his films are reviewed by an independent group which is what probably happened in this case. Lock this guy up as he doesn’t deserve to ever be trusted again.

    • InterestedReader

      You, sir, are spot on.

  • InterestedReader

    Yeah…and the other 585 that received an unnecessary procedure from him because he fabricated medical records should just be quiet! Whatever.

    Now, if this would’ve been 1 person or 2 people, it still would be terrible as well. I understand your point about interviewing other people whom this man has helped. But when you are accused of not 1, 2, 3 but possibly 585 unnecessary procedures, there is no remorse from anyone in the medical community. Lying is lying is lying, no matter what profession you are in.

    This man will never practice again unless the medical board is filled with quacks like this guy.

    • board_watchdog

      It is so-filled. Sister boards protect apparatchiks.

  • GasPasser

    this is the problem with the self-policing medical community who cover or bury their mistakes. He’ll simply resurface in another state with a new license and his past will be forgotten about, Happens all the time across the US.

    • mdd

      You clearly don’t understand how state medical boards operate. They’ll be fully aware of his past if he’s found guilty (even if he’s found innocent, they’ll know about the entire debacle).

  • CorrectionPlease

    “self-policing medical community”
    Really. This is profound.
    The solution: let’s get the government involved – like in Britain or Cuba from where, as everyone knows, all great medical advances are made.


    This is how the doctors make money for their hospitals. I had a doctor that did the same to me. Unnecessary procedure then all the sudden you need two stint. From no blockage to 60% blockage in one year. He has ruined my life.

    • DrJohnClifton

      Most doctors are decent hard-working and ethical people who are concerned about their patients and their health. Because this is so, it makes having a bad one in the group always a sensational issue of great concern. Moreover, because there are so few truly bad docs out there, the medical system is not prepared to detect or deter the bad ones until some sort of crisis occurs — as in this case. More can certainly be done, not only by the medical profession itself, but also by informed patients and members of the care giving team. Behind every crooked doctor stands in silence members of this team.

      • Sharingnews

        Really? Because I’ve been to over 40 doctors in 3 different states and can honestly say they do not care. It’s all about $$$. This is just one example of corruption: go to gyno, and after contacting her again for help she refuses and sends me off to a general surgeon. He wanted a CT Scan and I told him I just got one less than two months before. But no, he needs his own (his words not mine). Everything came back normal (like the older scan) so he told me oh well and walked out as I was crying. He has me in collection for my $40 co-pay when he could have sent me a letter.

        Doctors ARE terrible. They are the most fallible since they are ones trying to be the closest thing to God. Because of this, we’ve seen strong deterioration in the field for at least the last three years.

        My mom, surgical nurse, told me it sounded like seizures. Sure enough! Meds work! Three years w/ taking two of them being told it’s all in my head (cuz when you have something doctors don’t remember from school or never knew it’s auto your fault; 2 yrs for an “I dunno”). A surgical nurse gets it. Heaven forbid 50 doctors to figure it out! Epileptologist today and-even after my rant-I still try to put faith in it. Because if they can’t help you who will?

      • James

        Behind every crooked doctor is the fact that a lot of other doctors generally knew or at least had very strong suspicion that he was crooked but they typically do not turn on one of their own unless it’s so blatant that they have no plausible deniability as to knowing. There are plenty of doctors who are generally ok themselves, but still look the other way when they suspect or even know that another doctor is up to something fishy. It’s a whole can of worms, they’re looking at a whole heap of trouble and a bunch of work if they’re going to try and go after this guy, and it’s a lot easier to shake their heads, go about their business, and think to themselves that someone else will catch him. f you aren’t like this, maybe you should consider the possibility that you, and maybe your close circle of doctor friends, are the exception, not the rule.

  • MGQ

    Common place among SO MANY surgeons nowadays.. and I’m sure the procedures were ALL billed OUT-OF-NETWORK! Out-Of-Network medical care billing is out-of-control and no one is talking about it, and it is one of the MAJOR factors driving up the cost of medical care.

  • Alex

    The Medical Board is knee jerking to protect itself, you often see them yank medical lic in situations of law suits. If it was so bad why wasn’t his medical lic. yanked long ago? Ignorant patients are often guided towards law suits for the benefit of the legal system, has nothing to do withn justice or people wouldn’t demand money. Stent placement decisions are not only considered secondary to cardiac cath but by symptoms also. I would wait for the legal system to progress before I would believe this hack artical by CBS

    • dst1964

      I’m just trying to understand why it would be so horrible to have a stent put into your artery, even if it were unecessary? Couldn’t that also be considered a safety buffer subsequent to the unecessary procedure…meaning, if you have a stent placed in your artery, does it pose a medical threat to the patient or can it be considered a preventative measure (if already done…what’s done is done right?) I wouldn’t be happy with the Dr. if he did this to me either, but I might also feel safer since heart disease runs in my family. Or…do I have it all wrong here? Does the stent pose a threat to my health if it is inserted and I didn’t need it? Just curious?

  • Jim in Houston

    How soon will Medicare go after this cheat?

  • EBW

    He was probably trying to protect himself from lawsuits by choosing to place the stent in equivocal cases, and ended up sued for placing them.

  • sam

    Felonious assault? This is a malicious attack on perfectly healthy people most likely for profit, not to mention the fraud perpetrated against insurance providers and even more likely the Medicare system. I say let him practice medicine in the prison system and then return to his cell nightly.

  • Dave J

    Variation is a warning sign in all business except for healthcare. If his rate of stint placement was outside benchmarks for that procedure it should have drawn attention. Instead it was not measured, ignored or just chalked up as his approach to medicine. Could you imagine an auto manufacturer working like that, there would be death in the streets. Running the process of health care more like a business will benefit, patients and doctors and lead to safer, higher quality and lower cost care.

  • Mike

    Another reason why I changed my mind about medical school. Physicians do not get the respect they deserve these days and the investment of medical is not worth it anymore with lawyers and people acting like they know more than the doctor does. To all those people out there… who are you to question this physician? He went to medical school so stop your whining and do what he says…odds are he is right. People have no right to sue or question physicians over stupid things.

    • 20yrCathLabTech

      No Mike…odds are (as a well-respected physician I worked beside for years put it), he’s like a fat kid in a candy store when no one’s looking. He’s stuffing his pockests with all the Snickers, lollipops, and bubblegum he can.

    • Sow Knee

      The doctor is God aye Mike? Not mine!

  • Tim Kamberger

    All I can say is that I brought many, many sick patients to Dr. Midei. It was amazing to watch the skin color come back, the agitation decrease, the chest pain subside as the blockage was opened and perfusion returned. All of this literally right in front of my eyes, before I could finish righting up my patient care report. In the perfect clarity of hindsight maybe some of these stents were unneeded. Or perhaps placed somewhat prophylactically in practice of defensive medicine. Or maybe even incorrectly. Medicine is, after all, an art as much as a science. Clearly though, if/when I need a cath Dr. Midei and St. Joe can work on me anytime. T. Kamberger NREMT-P

    • 20yrCathLabTech

      Tim that’s all fine and well. No one is saying that there are patients that Dr. Midei treated that we truly having an AMI or STEMI. But EMT’s deal with the patients mostly in “quick and dirty” situations. What you fail to realize is stents are not supposed to be implanted prophylactically. That 10-20% lesion may never become blocked to the point of needing a stent. The human body does not like foreign objects and those prophylactically treated patients will likely have re-stenosisat a much high rate and severity than they would ever have had.

      • Tim Kamberger

        Actually I do both pre-hospital and interfacility. Maybe who I transport straight to the table were the sickest of the sick. That being said, there are gray areas in medicine, in my environment and in yours. I’m glad I’m not a physician because of all the second guessing. If he stents when (by some opinions) he shouldn’t he’s in trouble, if he doesn’t stent when he (again by some opinions) should, he’s in trouble. My natural inclination is to say he was the one there at the time, and made the best decision he could at the time. While second guessing IS part of the learning process, the continuous quality improvement that is beneficial to all of us, this wasn’t quality improvement – it was a witch hunt.

    • mac

      “finish righting up my patient care report.”
      you do mean “… writing… ” not “righting”

      • Tim Kamberger

        Noted – thats what I get for rushing!

    • Patrick Pearson

      I disagree with what you ‘rote’.
      What he did was ‘rong’
      You should be careful what you ‘right’.
      “Weally, how did you become an EMT?

  • Sam

    Midei was thrown under the bus by St. Joes to protect them from a federal investigation of a potential multi $100M kickback scheme. Instead they paid $26M and made their highest paid doc a sacrificial lamb. Pretty good deal for St. Joe’s.

    The fact that the Board would accept the word of a four year cardiologist who had a personal vendetta against Dr. Midei over the testimony of one of the founders of the practice of cardiology tells me the polictical fix is in.

    To the Dr. who admitted under oath that he said when Midei refused to go along with their scheme “I will make it my mission to destroy Midei personally and professionally”. MIssion Accomplished

    • mac

      spot on…

  • bandejo

    Another lawyer going to make a killing on this case. What is the damage to placing a successful but unnecessary stint?



  • Farmer Bob

    If these charges are true, shouldn’t this really be a capital crime?

    • board_watchdog

      Yeah, and you probably believe malpractice insurance is to protect the public, when indeed it is protectionism to protect a systemic culture of malpractice, corruption and fascism.

  • Gary Bryant

    Learn how to be your own lawyer to protect yourself against unscrupulous doctors

  • Ghost

    I’m sure this is just the tip of a very big iceberg!

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