Incompetent Doctor Still Allowed To Practice Medicine!


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One would expect that an incompetent doctor would have his license pulled after being sanctioned numerous times by New York State’s medical board. However, that is not the case with emergency room physician Dr. Jean-Francois Hibbert of Elmsford, NY. Although Dr. Hibbert has had multiple run-ins with the state’s medical board over the last two decades, he still continues to practice.

Dr. Hibbert’s license was first suspended on May 23, 2000 following the Board’s investigation into three of Hibbert’s badly handled medical cases. The Department of Health’s State Board for Professional Misconduct’s statement of the charges, which can be found here –$FILE/lc159481.pdf, details Hibbert’s misconduct. According to the document, in 1994, Hibbert treated a 30 year-old pregnant woman who presented with abdominal cramps and discomfort. The patient told Hibbert that she was seven weeks pregnant, and had two prior miscarriages. Hibbert failed to adequately examine the woman, did not order appropriate diagnostics tests, and consequently failed to diagnose her properly with an entopic pregnancy. Only a few weeks later, Hibbert treated a 42 year-old man who presented to the emergency room with chest pain radiating to his right shoulder and back. The patient’s medical record indicated that the patient would feel relief after being administered Nitroglycerine. However, Hibbert failed to adequately examine or diagnose the man. He did not refer the patient to a cardiologist or admit him to the hospital despite the fact that there was a risk he was suffering from a heart attack. According to the document, then in 1998, Hibbert treated a 14 month old boy who had been injured in a motor vehicle accident. Following an inadequate medical examination, Hibbert failed to diagnose the patient with fractures of his right femur and left tibia.

Following their investigation into these three incidents, Hibbert was charged by the board with gross negligence, gross incompetence, and negligence. The board suspended his license for one year conditioned on the fact that he successfully complete probation for one year under the supervision of another physician and complete at least 50 credit hours of continuing medical education in emergency medicine.

Although Hibbert’s license was reinstated in 2001, he was again placed on probation for three years by the Board in 2009 following three more instances of incompetence. According to the Board for Professional Misconduct’s document on the case, which can be found here –$FILE/BRD%20159481.pdf – in December 2001, Hibbert saw a 73 year-old female patient who presented to the Catskill Regional Emergency Room with an erratic heart beat and dizziness. She had a past history of diabetes, congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. According to the documents, Hibbert failed to evaluate her high blood pressure and slow pulse rate and did not maintain an adequate medical record. Then, in 2002, Hibbert saw a 38 year-old woman who presented to an emergency room with complaints of abdominal pain, decreased appetite and an inability to work. She had a past history of ovarian surgery and painful menstruation. Hibbert failed to take an adequate medical history of the patient and failed to order a pelvic culture or urinalysis. Lastly, in 2003, Hibbert treated a male patient that arrived to the emergency room by ambulance who had been found unresponsive on the floor. The patient had dried vomit on his shirt, was unresponsive and sweating excessively. The patient had a history of overdosing on valium and heroin. Hibbert failed to adequately order that the patient be given fluids and electrolytes and did not order antibiotic therapy. For these actions, Dr. Hibbert was charged with multiple counts of negligence and placed on probation for three years.

It is unknown how many patients Dr. Hibbert has harmed during his two decades of practice. It is unlikely that the six patients discussed in the Office of Professional Misconduct’s documents are the only harmed by this incompetent doctor. The records also do not indicate what happened to the patients seen by Hibbert that were the basis for his repeated sanctions. For all anyone knows, Dr. Hibbert may have killed, injured, or otherwise harmed patients in New York and other states. A google search of Dr. Hibbert resulted in documents from the Florida Department of Health that indicate he may have also been sanctioned in Florida. However, the information on each is scarce and while he is listed as being sanctioned, it is unclear for what or why he is listed. I think it is appalling that the Board delayed taking action against Hibbert for these incidents and instead allowed them to pile up until a disturbing trend of negligence and incompetence emerged.

I am alarmed by the fact that Dr. Hibbert is still practicing medicine and that he only received probation following the second investigation by the Board despite the fact that he had been sanctioned previously. The Board should not allow this man to continue to practice medicine and should make information on doctors like him easier for the public to find. Despite the fact that I knew Dr. Hibbert’s name, it actually took a lot of digging to find out his past. The public has a right to know about his incompetence and shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to find out such information.