Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Arrogant Carle Clinic (Urbana, IL) deceives pediatric cancer patients

I thought I had seen everything. I thought that the trauma caused to me by Carle Clinic Association and its orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Chris Dangles, was an anomaly.

I thought that mine was the only situation at Carle Clinic Association where I was told that a physician/surgeon (Chris Dangles, M.D.) was an expert (Dangles held himself out as an expert in ankle surgery). Dr. Dangles wasn't an expert in 2000 and 2001. Dr. Dangles does not describe himself as an "ankle expert" in the Carle Clinic web-site. Thank God for patients.

Well, unfortunately, my situation was not an isolated one at Carle Clinic.

As of November 1, 2008, the pediatric oncology department will be "suspended" because the single (can you believe it, just one) physician in the Carle Clinic program is transferring to "regular" pediatrics at Carle Clinic! What? Where is the outrage?

Mark Musselman, M.D. decided to "transfer" to the Pediatric Department at Carle Clinic. Why? Well I checked the web-site for the American Board of Pediatrics (

There is no indication that Dr. Musselman was ever board certified in the speciality of oncology-hematology pediatrics. Dr. Musselman may be a fine man and a great physician. I am not doubting that.

What disturbs me is that Carle Clinic Association (and don't even get me started on the Carle physician-owned health insurance company, HAMP) would tell worried families of children with cancer that they have a Pediatric Cancer Program at Carle Clinic Association when in fact:

1. There was only one (1) physician involved in the program;

2. That one (1) physician was not have even been board certified in the specialty of hematology-oncology.

I would have thought that the Joint Commission (the entity that accredits hospitals) would have been horrified at the Carle Clinic pediatric cancer program. Was the program accredited? Dr. Musselman apparently completed in a fellowship in pediatric oncology and hematology.

So why didn't Dr. Musselman sit for the pediatric oncology-hematology boards?

There is more to this story than Dr. Mark Musselman just wanted an easier gig. Even Carle Clinic Association has enough sense than to effectively abandon children with cancer because the physician wanted to transfer to a different department. Unless there was something really urgent, Carle Clinic Association would have announced a replacement before the transfer.

Something peculiar is going on again at Carle Clinic Association. And this time, the arrogance of this medical facility jeopardizes the health and lives of sick children.

Carle Clinic Association is opening itself up for a lot of liability. Where are these children supposed to go for care and treatment. Carle Clinic Association in Urbana, Illinois is central Illinois. They are almost two (2) hours from Indianapolis and almost three (3) hours from Chicago and St. Louis.

A laundry list of places should know about the Dr. Mark Musselman/Carle Clinic Association children's cancer program (note that list is not exhaustive):

1. American Board of Pediatrics (because it is wrong to even implicitly hold a doctor out as being "board certified" in a specialty, especially cancer, if he or she is not)

2. Joint Commission (because this organization in Chicago accredits hospitals and they should have have concerned if the Carle Clinic children's cancer program consisted of one doctor who is not board certified in hematology-oncology)

3. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (because the IDFPR licenses all physicians in Illinois and the IDFPR is supposed to discipline doctors)

4. Illinois Attorney General (because when all else fails, the Office of the Illinois Attorney General is designed to protect the citizens of Illinois)

I will do my part. We need to advocate for these children. God be with them all and their families and friends.

And, btw, not for a minute . . . not a nanosecond should any of the parents of the children feel as though they "burdened" Dr. Musselman. When the dust clears, the parents are the best advocates for these (and all) children and should not feel guilty.


  1. If you look up Dr. Musselman on the web site YOU provided, he is indeed there and is Board certified. Yes, parents are their child's best advocates, and good doctors like Mark Musselman respect that advocacy.

  2. Patti -

    I appreciate your clarifying Dr. Musselman's board certification. Indeed, Dr. Musselman *is* board certified in "general pediatrics." However, according to the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Musselman is not board certified ion the important sub-specialty of pediatric hematology-oncology.

    IMHO, as the sole doctor associated with Carle's pediatric cancer program, Dr. Musselman should have held the proper qualifications of board certification.

    As both a cancer patient and the caregiver for a cancer patient, I appreciate the importance that a doctor who holds himself out as an oncologist actually possess the necessary board certification.

    God bless us all who struggle with cancer. God especially bless children and their families.