NEW LONDON, N.H. — Anna Konopka, a doctor in New London, New Hampshire, refuses to practice exactly what she calls “electronic medicine.” She doesn’t understand how to use a pc, and she handwrites her patient documents and keeps them into file cabinets.
Why? “Since electronic medicine is for the machine, not to its patients,” stated the 84-year-old, who’s originally from Poland. “The machine is destroying human relations between the doctor and the patient.”
Konopka’s refusal to keep digital records, however, has played a part in a judge denying her request to regain her license to practice, which she voluntarily surrendered in October after allegations of misconduct were brought against her, as stated by the judge’s ruling.
In his ruling on November 15, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge John Kissinger dismissed a case brought by Konopka to regain her license. Konopka said she had been pressured to surrendering her license and had been advised if she did not, she’d have it removed.
The allegations against Konopka started in October 2014 when a complaint brought to the New Hampshire Board of Medicine accused of “improper prescribing practices” about a child, based on this nation. After an investigation into the allegation, the board reprimanded Konopka in May.
After Konopka consented to this reprimand, the board medical record subcommittee received further complaints about her, according to Kissinger’s ruling. He said from the ruling that the allegations encircle her record, prescribing clinics and medical decision making.
Konopka, that denies misconduct, signed a voluntary surrender of license in September, where she consented to give up her license effective October 13, allowing her time to “offer emergency and scheduled treatment,”based on this surrender.
In early October, Konopka requested an injunction from the court in hopes of continued her practice, saying she kissed her license under duress. Kissinger stated in his ruling which Konopka didn’t reveal she had been pressured to surrendering the license.
“Her purpose to seek out an injunction allowing her to continue to practice comes from a sincere desire to keep up to assist her patients,” he wrote. “Under these conditions of the case, however, Dr. Konopka has failed to show the extraordinary remedy of an injunction allowing her to continue to practice medicine is suitable. To hold otherwise would be to dismiss the procedure established by the Legislature to regulate the practice of medicine in this state.”
Not giving up the struggle
Konopka filed a motion on November 22 asking Kissinger to rethink and has filed affidavits from 30 of her patients talking on her behalf.
“I can’t get too mad,” she said regarding the ruling. “I am not devastated with that. I think folks are doing particular things against me. They’re a part of the political strategy, you understand. I am working with the machine.
“If you’re unfamiliar with platform, the system considers that you enemy of program, since you’re out of this machine. Therefore, as enemy of this machine, you’ve got to be destroyed.”
Until Kissinger reverses his decision, Konopka won’t have the ability to see the 20 to 25 patients each week that was able to come to her practice, where she works alone and charges patients 50. She said her low prices make it difficult for her to afford a lawyer.
She had been represented by legal counsel at the time she signed the surrender, also Barbara McKelvy, among Konopka’s patients, said she’s working to obtain a pro bono lawyer for Konopka.
Konopka said patients favor her practice when compared with large hospitals because of the individual attention they get.
Doctors at hospitals seem at computers all of the time, Konopka mentioned, and rely upon them, instead of their wisdom, for investigations and guidelines to prescribing medications. She predicted that system costly and detrimental to patients. The physicians don’t have any contact with the patients, ” she said.
“They practice electronic medicine, I practice medical art,” she said. “I treat the patient. And I am not likely to compromise the individual’s life or health for the machine.”
Jill Beaudry, among Konopka’s patients that wrote to the courtroom, told CNN Konopka is affectionate and enthusiastic about her patients also doesn’t care about the cash. She also added that Konopka is among the best physicians she has been around.
“My older physicians they had their heads shoved into their own computers. It was not personal with you. They never even looked at you,” Beaudry said. “With her, she is 100% concentrated, and I hate when the physicians are utilizing computers such as that, because that is not medicine.”
As Konopka waits to hear by Kissinger, she stated she plans to use a pc for minimum tasks such as staying up-to-date on whether she regains her license to practice. She won’t, but give in to practicing “electronic medicine.”