First of all, the way that the Doctor was pulled from the flight – that could have been handled better, no question about that. And despite all the coverage on Facebook and media outlets, we weren’t there to see the whole incident and we don’t know what happened before or after cameras were rolling. This post isn’t about the incident, it’s about the doctor.
The doctor, Dr. David Dao, has an interesting history. By interesting, we mean 98 felony drug charges, including prescribing pain killers illegally, plus another 6 felony counts of “obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit.” He was also convicted of writing prescriptions and making payments to a patient in exchange for sex. He denies paying for it, but admitted to accepting “sexual favors” in exchange for debt payments that an associate owed him.
That all happened in 2005. He was given 5 years probation, and his medical license was surrendered in Kentucky. 10 years later in 2015 his license was reinstated with restrictions, but for some reason in 2016 more restrictions were applied, and he is allowed to practice medicine only one day a week in an outpatient clinic.
A comment from a doctor who knows Dao’s history well after working with the medical board on Dao’s case says the doctor has “interpersonal problems,” specifically noting “he would unilaterally choose to do his own thing.”
Again, this in no way is an excuse for him being pulled from the plane so dramatically, but remember that we still don’t know how the doctor was acting before cameras were rolling. He may have been causing some kind of scene that warranted getting him off the plane by any means, or likewise, it may have been a complete over-the-top and unnecessarily forcible removal. We’ll know more details in the coming weeks, we’re sure. Another interesting fact about that particular flight, it was actually not overbooked as previously thought, according to a spokesperson. But the airline did need to remove 4 passengers to make room for 4 employees being transferred to the flight’s destination.
Details on the doctors charges and background here.