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Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati
Photo courtesy of here.
Photo: Left to Right: seated: Neil A. Armstrong, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, University of Cincinnati; Henry J. Heimlich, MD, Director of Surgery, The Jewish Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio; Edward A. Patrick MD, PhD, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Purdue University. Standing: George Rieveschl, Jr., PhD, Sc.D., Vice President for Special Projects, University of Cincinnati (circa 1975).
Five years ago, Dr. Edward A. Patrick of Union KY issued this press release in which he claimed to be the co-developer of the Heimlich maneuver. This week, a court case involving Dr. Patrick has made the ongoing story about The Maneuver even more noteworthy.
From Patrick’s press release about inventing the maneuver:
I have always viewed that Dr. Heimlich and I worked together to develop what has become known as the Heimlich maneuver just as the Wright brothers worked together to develop the first flying machine.
A 2004 Radar Magazine article provided more details:
(It) must have been a painful shock when, on a September day in 1985, a reporter told Patrick that Heimlich was claiming sole credit for having invented it. Patrick, who staged his own celebratory press conference to coincide with Heimlich’s, had been left at the altar. But for reasons that would become clear only much later, Patrick never retaliated. “I would like to get proper credit for what I’ve done,” Patrick told me. “But I’m not hyper about it.” Patrick’s ex-wife Joy tells a different story: “Whenever my kids would say ‘Heimlich maneuver,’ he would correct them and say, ‘Patrick maneuver.’”
This week Dr. Patrick choked on another loss. A federal judge in Cleveland dismissed a defamation case Patrick filed three years ago against a Cleveland newsweekly. The entire ruling is posted on Casewatch.org under this summary by Stephen Barrett MD:
A federal court judge has dismissed a libel suit brought by Edward Patrick, M.D. against the Cleveland Scene newspaper and Thomas Francis, a writer whose cover story, “Playing Doctor,” had accused Patrick of lying about his professional experience. Patrick is board-certified in emergency medicine, based on a one-year residency program followed by credit for practice. However, critics believe he did not complete residency training. The newspaper article also questioned the veracity of data from Patrick that were used to establish the Heimlich maneuver. as a method for treating choking. As noted below, the judge concluded that Patrick misrepresented the extent of his medical training and failed to present credible information to rebut other accusations made in the article.
Some excerpts from Judge Lesley Wells’s order:
The article raised questions regarding Dr. Patrick’s medical residency credentials during the time he also worked for Dr. Heimlich as a computer researcher and for Purdue University as a professor of electrical engineering. The article alleged “what appears to be a phantom residency at Jewish Hospital.” The thrust of the article focuses on Dr. Patrick’s credentials and the plaintiff’s relationship with Dr. Heimlich during and after the development of the Heimlich Maneuver - a widely recognized technique used to respond to choking victims and as a secondary response for clearing the lungs in drowning cases.
The article goes on to allege misrepresentations made by Dr. Patrick in his medical credentials, including his claims of the following: a full professorship at Indiana University; a special emergency medicine residency under Dr. Heimlich; a residency at Deaconess Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio; a residency in emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati Hospital; a residency in emergency medicine at Purdue University Hospital; and, serving as the guiding hand in establishing the family residency program at St. Luke’s Hospital in Solon, Ohio.
With regard to Dr. Patrick’s representations, Playing Doctor notes that: Indiana University only has record of the plaintiff working as an unpaid volunteer not a full professor; plaintiff’s claimed special emergency training, from 1976 to 1978, under Dr. Heimlich was disavowed by Dr. Heimlich; Deaconess Hospital did not have a residency program during the period claimed by Dr. Patrick; hospital executives at the University of Cincinnati found no evidence of Dr. Patrick’s residency; Purdue University has neither a medical school nor a hospital; and, according to hospital sources at St. Luke’s, Dr. Patrick did not “establish” a family residency program when he was on faculty at that hospital.
The article also discusses Dr. Patrick’s job movement among various hospital emergency rooms across a number of states, traces the number of hospitals and staffing agencies which have sought to verify the plaintiff’s emergency medicine residency, surgical residency, and multi-year residency. The article also points to Dr. Patrick’s use of a significantly incorrect birth-date, making himself younger by ten years, for medical licenses in three separate states
...In conversation with Mr. Francis, Dr. Patrick referred to the Heimlich Maneuver as more accurately the “Patrick-Heimlich Maneuver.”
...In Playing Doctor, the main imputation of the article is twofold: the reported character of Dr. Patrick’s 1975 -1976 residency at Jewish Hospital raised questions about the degree of his participation in and the thoroughness of his residency training; and, Dr. Patrick’s representations of his medical training were either exaggerated or inaccurate.
...Although Dr. Patrick contends that the character of his medical training and his representation of his experience through his resume are not matters of public concern (Doc. 126), the Court finds that contention untenable. Not only is the matter of Dr. Patrick’s medical training an area of public concern, but the plaintiff himself has relied upon the representation of his training and experience to gain access to public forums, especially when discussing the genesis, development, dissemination and application of the exceedingly familiar Heimlich Maneuver.
Upon a review of the record, the Court finds both of the imputations from the article substantially true - that Dr. Patrick engaged in misrepresentations of his medical training, and questions remain regarding the extent of his participation in a residency program while assigned to Jewish Hospital in 1975-76.
...Further, Dr. Patrick has failed to establish the falsity of the article’s second imputation by clear and convincing evidence. The second imputation focused on Dr. Patrick’s participation in the residency program at Jewish Hospital and raised questions about the form of his participation and whether the residency was properly completed. That imputation was predicated on several sources: the lack of documentation at Jewish Hospital where Dr. Patrick’s file lacks actual rotations or evaluations; published reports on Dr. Patrick’s speciality as an electrical engineer and the computer research role he was to fulfill in Dr. Heimlich’s lab; evidence of Dr. Patrick’s competing outside activities at Purdue University and far-flung speaking engagements during his residency; and, interviews with hospital staff, including with Dr. Margolin, the then-Chief of Internal Medicine, who refused to sign Dr. Patrick’s residency certificates.
That’s longtime Cincinnati internist E. Gordon Margolin MD (now a professor at UC medschool), who was deposed in the case. From Judge Wells’s order:
Mr. Francis quoted Dr. Gordon Margolin, Chief of Internal Medicine at Jewish Hospital during Dr. Patrick’s residency, as finding the plaintiff’s presence “evanescent,” which is to say infinitesimal. Mr. Francis reported that Dr. Margolin refused to sign Dr. Patrick’s residency completion certificates on behalf of the hospital.
Also deposed were individuals whose names are familiar to the local health care community: physician assistant Mike Bowen, formerly of the Health Alliance, now at UC College of Medicine; Drs. Felix Canestri and Ed Matern, both formerly of Jewish Hospital; and attorney Tom Dilling, former Executive Director of the State Medical Board of Ohio, now legislative liason at the State Board of Nursing.
Dr. Henry Heimlich was also deposed at length. Interestingly, he was represented by attorney and right-wing activist Chris Finney.
Patrick’s next maneuver? The day after his case was tossed, Jeffrey & Randy Blankenship, the attorney brothers representing Dr. Patrick, filed a notice of intent to appeal.
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