Snakes in Smocks: Unrecognized Corporate Psychopathy in the Medical Profession


Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.53.02 PM

Psychopathy is present in all professions. In The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, Kevin Dutton provides a side-by-side list of professions with the highest (CEO tops the list) and lowest (care-aid) percentage of psychopaths.   Interestingly surgeons come in at #5 among the professions with the highest percentage of psychopathy while doctors  (in general) are listed among the lowest.

Although by no means a scientific study, Psycopaths, by their very nature, seek power and it would make sense that a psychopath among us might pick surgery over pediatrics or pathology as they are drawn to power, prestige, and control. Be this as it may the incidence of psycopathy or psychopathic traits in doctors of any specialty is low. Statistics indicate that no more than 1% of men in general exhibit psychopathic traits. In Women these characteristics are far less.

Due to irresponsible behavior and a tendency to ignore or violate social conventions and rules,  psychopaths frequently find themselves engaged in conduct involving the criminal justice system or involved in other disciplinary action. Juvenile delinquency, arrests, school suspensions and misconduct related issues are barriers that preclude professional careers for many and, with around 15% of the prison population estimated to be psychopathic, incarceration and recidivism are common final pathways. Because of this tendency it would be highly unlikely for most sociopaths to follow a standard professional career pathway involving academic rigor and normal professional and societal expectations,  because impulsive irresponsible actions commonly blocks it. This would predict a probably much lower prevalence of psycopathy in physicians compared to the general population.

That being said, such self imposed removal from a potential  career is the sole product of getting caught for misconduct and being held accountable for it.   Psychopaths possess several traits that make this difficult.    With a talent for “reading people” and identifying their weak spots and vulnerabilities they are able to get people to see what they want them to see.  Psychopaths often exude charm, confidence and charisma.  They can lie effortlessly and are very convincing..

The natural history of psychopathy involves risky behavior and the ability to get away with it or out of it. The consequences of this depend on if and when it occurs. It is entirely conceivable that some may live their entire lives undetected. With a need for stimulation and a proneness to boredom the psychopath is particularly prone to drug abuse and addiction and twice as likely as the general population to be diagnosed.

 Psycopathy involves a path of risky behavior as well as the potential for being held accountable for it. At any age the behavior that brings they psychopath to the attention of the criminal justice system is often drug or alcohol related. The natural history of the average psychopath reveals an overrepresentation in prison with a 15x greater risk in general. Any statistics on psycopathy in a population is based on psychometric evaluations retrospectively in specific populations. Being arrested or getting caught for something does not reveal the pathology or the correlation. You have to look for it.

And nothing is known of subpopulations of psychopaths and the impact of intelligence, education, profession and other factors and how they relate to outcomes and consequences over time. Egocentricity and a sense of entitlement drives they do not adapt to the environment but try to make the environment adapt to them. Without empathy and lacking remorse the goal is always self-serving and a question of what they can get out of it.

 Many judges, as an alternative to incarceration, have been requiring people arrested for drug and alcohol related offenses to attend AA meetings and provide proof of participation. As misguided as this is on other levels it is also dangerous. Given a choice between incarceration and attending AA the majority of any population, including those with psychopathic traits, would choose the latter. And as in any situation they would use it to see what they could get out of it. Masters of manipulation and impression management in a room full of potential victims. The reports of rape and theft coming out is no surprise. It is in all likelihood much worse.

And in reality psychopaths exist in every profession, including medicine.

What is the natural history and final common pathway of M.D. psychopaths?  Where do these shape-shifters end up?

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 11.10.42 PM

In his book Without Conscience, Dr. Robert Hare notes “If we can’t spot them, we are doomed to be their victims, both as individuals and as a society. ” Dr. Clive Boddy in Corporate Psychopaths observes that unethical leaders create unethical followers, which in turn create unethical companies and society suffers as a result.” And if you look at the FSPHP branch of the ASAM that is exactly what you will find.  less than 1/% of the population are psychopaths but they represent more that 10% of those in prisons.  What is the natural history of the physician psychopath? You do the math.


A 2010 study, Corporate Psychopathy: Talking the Walk, found that 3 to 6 percent of corporate employees may be responsible for the majority of ethical breaches in corporations, with corporate psychopathy tending to be concentrated at the higher levels of organizations.

This group here, Like-minded Docs,  is largely responsible for what happens to any doctor referred to a state PHP because all of the medical directors of  the “PHP-approved” assessment and treatment centers can be found right here.

So too can Bob Dupont and Greg Skipper who have introduced the non-FDA approved drug and alcohol LDTs.  Stuart Gitlow, President of ASAM is also on the list.

This group is essentially in control of doctors and determines their fates and the percentage of psychopathy here is much much more than the  3-6% found at Enron.

Some of these doctors have done horrible things that most doctors would never do under any circumstances (steal IV pain relieving drugs from dying cancer patients I.V. bags, selling the ‘date-rape” drug to DEA agents).

On this list are multiple felons and a fair number of double felons who got their licenses back by saying they were not responsible for what they did.  They were helpless over drugs or alcohol and have now been saved by the good graces of 12-step spirituality.

And with that the medical boards gave them power without accountability.  There is no regulation, oversight, answerability or need to justify their actions.  It is a free for all and this list is a gold-mine for anyone studying organized psychopathy.

Physician Health Programs are a funnel for the sociopath and without restraint they are only growing.

This is what John Nash described would happen without counter-forces to keep their numbers low.


Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 12.47.51 AM

17 thoughts on “Snakes in Smocks: Unrecognized Corporate Psychopathy in the Medical Profession

  1. I think that what has happened with PHPs , and the PHP idea is very humane as an idea, is that the PHPs are now being run by criminals, cheats, liars, whatever you want to call a psychopath, to rob physicians caught in their nets of money, the money going into the pockets of the “preferred centers” for many physicians who are completely inappropriately placed in such centers by state PHPs which are now the fishermen manning these nets and who also receive money and a continued reason for being, for Medical Directors who run these programs shamelessly, pulling the wool over the eyes of the well-intended or not so well-intended “boards” to feather their own nests.

    MBs are likewise fishermen for this big money game, manned by the over-zealous and outright psychotic members, most of whom run off hidden agendas of various kinds.

    We as physicians must organize and shout out our discoveries about the ugly truths about the psychopaths in high places among us who kill to get what they want. No other way to say it.

    Physician’s lives matter-it is up to the rest of us to do something to bring this deadly problem to national attention, to the attention of our legislators, etc., but it will not be easy, and since they are liars, cheats, and outright criminals, these doctors and others who have insinuated themselves into positions of power over physicians’ lives and livelihood, they will not go down easy or without a nasty fight.

    I will show up for the fight, and I will leave my white flag at home. These guys are the ISIS of the medical world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well stated! The task of putting an end to this is so daunting. Having been referred to a PHP by the MB, the corporate designee, Maximus, kicked me out of the program for “non compliance” when I was injured with a trimalleolar fracture and had to under surgery with 3 plates and 16 screws. The RN, as there is no medical director. Advised Tylenol or loose my license. Not a whole lot of choice, not to mention a direct violation of my MB contract. These PHP’s must be stopped.

      Liked by 1 person

    • They actually are. They, the colluding drug testing labs, complicit “PHP-approved” assessment and treatment centers should be charged with treason. Many of these individuals should have been put in prison long ago. So too should the morally disengaged board attorneys and board members who suck up to this rogues gallery. In some respects their crimes are even worse.


  2. It is ridiculous that physicians have to do anything organization demands they do, even illegal actions like give money to them or their cronies, or do without pain meds after an operation, or go jump off a bridge if they tell them to…for “noncompliance” , whatever that means, especially if it doesn’t mean anything having to do with their jobs as physicians. Isis says either become Muslim or die. What is the difference?

    What we have here is akin to the most vile and foul inhumanity of one human to another right now for any reason, like what is going on in the most corrupt countries in Africa or elsewhere. Here, in the US, under our legal system.

    “We gotcha by the …” is their mantra…”FEED ME!” “GIMME MONEY”! Me, n my hood friends.

    Well, I guess these sharks need extensive grills to cover their sharp teeth. And American doctors are bleeding and dying. Theme song of FSPHP=Mack the Knife

    I am ready to formally protest in front of some PHP or MB. Let me know. I will come with banners.


  3. I believe psychopaths are made, not born. As per the Stanford prison experiment. The idea that anyone is thus “impaired” (or disordered) is clearly entirely make-believe. Then, they are imprisoned for a so-called “impairment,” producing the us/them dichotomy. Thus we have those that “require treatment” and those that perform the hideous, inhumane “treatments” upon the designated prisoners. The very existence of such prisons upholds Us and Them…and fans the fires, feeding the oppressors’ need for power, which only begets more desperation for power and control. Ethics and all sensibility go out the window.

    Come on my radio show!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s