Monday, July 11, 2011

Who Has My Documents?

By letter dated May 8, 2011 I requested that the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry (GW) release a copy of its medical records of my case to me.  I was a psychiatry out-patient at GW from September 1992 to June 1996.  I wrote a sizable number of letters to my psychiatrists on a range of issues of psychological interest.

Several weeks later in May 2011 someone from GW telephoned me to advise that it is the Medical Center's policy (consistent with the laws of the District of Columbia) to destroy patient records after 10 years have elapsed.

There are two parties who may retain portions of my medical records, including copies of letters I wrote.

1.  In December 1994 the U.S. Secret Service instituted an investigation of me.  I was required by the Secret Service to permit the agency to review my medical record at GW. 

Also, at the end of July 1995 I submitted to the Washington Field Office of the Secret Service copies of 12 computer discs (Brother word processor format) that contained all the documents I had written during the period November 1991 to July 1995.  I had purchased a word processor a few weeks after my job termination on October 29, 1991 by the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.  The Secret Service returned the 12 computer discs to me in early 1996 at my request.  I do not know whether the Secret Service printed out the discs.

2.  In about 1999 my then treating psychiatrist at the D.C. Department of Mental Health, Albert H. Taub, M.D. consented to prescribe the anti-depressant Wellbutrin.  Dr. Taub stated that Wellbutrin can cause seizures in susceptible persons.  I had told Dr. Taub that I had suffered a head concussion in January 1991 that left me in a coma for two hours.  I told Dr. Taub that GW had performed an EEG in January 1993 at the request of my former treating psychiatrist, Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D.  Dr. Taub said he wanted to review my GW medical records.  I sent a letter to Stuart Sotsky, M.D., then GW psychiatry department's director of out-patient care, requesting that he forward a copy of my medical records to Dr. Taub.  Dr. Taub later informed me that GW had sent a sizable package to him containing my GW medical records.

In short, the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service as well as the D.C. Department of Mental Health (Spring Road Clinic?) may retain copies of my GW treatment record.

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