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Public health school allows castration doctor to mentor graduate student

October 23rd, 2013 · 6 Comments · Miseducation

Administrators at the George Washington University School of Public Health allowed Mark Geier, a notorious anti-vaccine activist known for chemically castrating disabled children, to supervise a graduate student. Geier is currently banned from practicing medicine.

Graduate students are required to complete a practicum under the supervision of a health professional, called a site preceptor. The school’s site preceptor handbook sets out requirements for a practicum site:

In general, a practicum site has the following elements:
  • Serves a public health or health services mission or supports a department with such a mission
  • Addresses significant public health or health services problems
  • Offers students the opportunity to learn from public health professionals in a supervised environment

Geier and his son, David, work out of a Silver Spring, Maryland home, less than 10 miles from the GWU campus. They previously operated clinics across the U.S. to promote treatment of autism with Lupron, an injectable hormone inhibitor, charging parents as much as $6,000 per month. The drug is approved to treat prostate cancer, and has been used to “chemically castrate” sex offenders.
The Maryland medical board revoked Geier’s license in Aug., 2012, commenting that Geier’s conduct “constituted a substantial likelihood of a risk of serious harm to the public health, safety and welfare based on the physician’s experimental treatment of autistic children with Lupron.”

Geier had been licensed in 12 states. Those licenses have either been revoked, or allowed to expire. The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended Geier’s medical license on April 22, 2011. Two weeks later, the Washington Post reported:

A Rockville doctor’s medical license has been suspended in Maryland over allegations of putting children with autism at risk, and state officials are seeking to remove his son from a state commission that advises the governor on the disorder.

The officials were also struggling to explain why Mark Geier’s son, David Geier, who has an undergraduate degree in biology and does not have a medical license, was identified by the Commission on Autism as its “diagnostician.” The commission’s Web site had listed him as a doctor until Wednesday, which officials said was a clerical error.

“Under the circumstances, we do not believe it’s appropriate for David Geier to serve on the autism commission,” said David Paulson, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Unfortunately, he declined to resign his commission. .?.?. As a result, we are considering the appropriate next steps.”

GWU School of Public Health administrators were apparently unaware of, or ignored Geier’s legal problems, during a period when he was acting as site preceptor for at least one graduate student, AutismNewsBeat has learned. That student studied at the college from 2011-2013. The student’s name is deliberately omitted from this story, and readers who comment are asked to refrain from identifying the student.

Mark Geier

Geier’s unethical conduct was first uncovered by Kathleen Seidel, who posted a 15-part series at her Neurodiversity blog, between June,  2006 and May, 2007. The series was titled Significant Misrepresentations: Mark Geier, David Geier & the Evolution of the Lupron Protocol. In the first story, Seidel wrote that David Geier’s byline on a study published in the journal Hormone Research in May, 2006, indicated he was a GWU Department of Biochemistry faculty member or graduate student.

According to the conventions of academic publishing, this would generally imply that (David) Geier is a member of the faculty at GWU, or a graduate student publishing with a thesis advisor or other faculty member in the same department; and that GWU is the venue at which Mr. Geier’s share of the research took place.

David Geier’s most advanced degree is a BA in Biology from another institution. Seidel reported that David Geier enrolled in GWU’s graduate biochemistry program in 2003, and took two courses in during the 2003-2004 school year. He took the last of three public health courses during the Spring 2005 semester.

An email to Mark Geier, asking if he has acted as site preceptor for other graduate students, has not been answered.



6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dorit // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Very disturbing oversight. I hope the university corrects its error so that future graduate students can have a more appropriate mentor.

  • 2 lilady // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

    One has to wonder, how a disgraced and discredited former medical doctor even got on the preceptor site mentor’s list. That loss of his medical license alone eliminates him from ever being a site preceptor.

    When I worked as a public health nurse in a large suburban County department of health, we had scads of student who were in MPH-Epidemiology and MD/MPH dual degree programs. Those students learned how investigations of all communicable diseases (not just the vaccine-preventable-ones, accompanied doctors and nurses to the seven satellite clinics to observe pediatric, adult medicine STD/HIV and tuberculosis clinics and went out in the field with our sanitarians for restaurants inspections and as part of a suspected or confirmed food-borne illness outbreak investigation. The student spent time in our County laboratory, as well.

    What could Mark Geier offer to any MPH candidate…except his failed hypothesis to link Thimerosal with the onset of autism?

  • 3 I. Rony Meter // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    “What could Mark Geier offer to any MPH candidate…except his failed hypothesis to link Thimerosal with the onset of autism?”

    The chance to publish a paper on said failed theory?

    “How vaccines dunnit”
    by Geier, Geier and X

  • 4 Chris Hickie // Oct 24, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Just what kind (if any) process was in place to evaluate Geier’s (clear lack of) qualification to be a health preceptor? As a licensed physician, I have precepted medical students, residents and nurses. Every time I have had to show their university that I am licensed and in good standing before I could precept. It sure appears that GWU’s School of Public Health didn’t even bother to do a simple state medical board check on Geier. This shows a sad lack of attention, and to me would cast serious doubt on the credibility of their program –Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

  • 5 GW School of Public Health and Health Services // Oct 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services is still investigating the claims in this article.
    However, the article gives the impression that Mark Geier was teaching or advising a GW student who was doing a practicum at SPHHS. In fact, Mark Geier was facilitating the use of a non-GW database the student used while doing his/her research, which was not part of a practicum. The student in question was being supervised by a faculty member at the university and the student’s contact with Mark Geier was limited mainly to accessing the information in this database.

    GW School of Public Health
    Office of Communications

  • 6 Harpocrates Speaks: For Graduate Practicum, George Washington University Earns an F // Jan 2, 2014 at 10:24 am

    […] state medical licenses and had a 13th denied due to his medical misconduct (to put it lightly), served as a site preceptor for a graduate student at George Washington University. Autism News Beat rightly criticized the university. That Geier was […]

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