Lawsuit Accuses Long Island Man Of Practicing Medicine Without License

Wife Of Man With Prostate Cancer: He Gave My Husband A Death Sentence

ROOSEVELT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A cancer patient has brought a lawsuit against a Nassau University Medical Center employee, accusing him of running an illegal medical practice on Long Island.

John Mitchner has a license from New York State to work as a physician’s assistant; however, a lawsuit accuses him of practicing medicine for decades as a doctor, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports.

Nevely Plummer said he believed Mitchner was a doctor and had been seeing him at a Roosevelt clinic affiliated with the  hospital since 2003.

Plummer said he would get blood tests regularly to determine if he had prostate cancer.

“He told me my blood was OK and that the blood tells all,” Plummer said. “I now learned that the blood does not tell if you have prostate cancer. They have to do a rare exam, which he did not do.”

After being examined by doctors at Sloan Kettering, Plummer was told he has had prostate cancer for at least 10 years and it has now spread to his bones.

“I’m suffering very bad,” Plummer said. “I don’t know how long I will live through this.”

Gwendolyn Plummer said Mitchner gave her husband a death sentence.

“When my husband asked him, ‘do you do the rectal exam?’ He told him, no, the blood tells all. If he was to say I can’t do the rectal exam because I’m a physician’s assistant, then we would have found a doctor,” she told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Tuesday.

Mitchner has been a beloved and respected medical man in the Plummers’  struggling Roosevelt community, but now they have discovered Mitchner wasn’t a doctor at all, and didn’t get his medical degree from Stony Brook.

“John E. Mitchner has been calling himself a doctor, practicing medicine in the state of New York since 1995 and he has committed medical malpractice on my client,” attorney Bonita Zelman said.

Despite websites and advertisements, Mitchner is a licensed physician’s assistant. In order to practice medicine in New York, Mitchner must be supervised at all times by an MD.

McLogan tried to get Mitchner’s take on the allegations, but his own attorney ran from CBS 2’s cameras. McLogan paid a visit to his new clinic, but police were called to have her removed.

When asked if was acknowledging any wrongdoing, Nassau University Medical Center attorney John Ciotti said, “No, at this point we are investigating as well. This is all new to us.”

Nevely Plummer will now have all his medical records forwarded to Sloan Kettering. The county and state said they have launched investigations into whether Mitchner was practicing medicine without a license.

Mitchner has no prior offenses. The NUMC group said Tuesday’s allegations predate Mitchner’s employment with them and that he works for them only as a physician’s assistant.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • DavidPFiore

    Usually, with most insurance today, the amount the insurer pays the docs is already agreed upon. If you have insurance B, then it doesn’t matter which doctor you go to, insurance B will pay the same. Only thing you can shop around is the health insurance check “Penny Health” for health insurance ideas to save money.

  • Always Ask For Credentials

    I agree with you John. It is unfair to imply that all Physician Assistants are fraudulent. As I brought up before in my previous posts, patients need to be wary of physicians who claim to be specialists without proper training. This is called rendering services outside their scope of practice. I’ve seen physicians claim to be endocrinologists when their state license is family practitioner. Ask if they are Board Certified in their specialty. Board Eligible is NOT the same as Certified. Unfortunately some physicians will embellish their credentials and you must be careful in who you select by researching.

    • single payer

      The safest thing to do is don’t see a New York doctor. Most of the foreign-born have never been to college and got their md as a rite of graduating high school. And those who did graduate college collude with the gov’t to outlaw competition and quality. Until the free market returns (after this country’s merciful collapse), single payer is the only ethical healthcare delivery system.

  • John

    Your report is incorrect in identifying this gentleman as a “physician’s assistant”. The correct title is Physician Assistant. The blanket statement above regarding PAs being arrogant is unfair. Being a physician assistant, it makes me sick to think that a PA has been falsely identifying as a physician if the accusation is in fact true. Reading your report above leads one to associate all PAs as frauds which is not true.

  • Always Learning

    This is so sad. This poor man trusted this PA with his life. So many people are afraid to question doctors out of fear of sounding uneducated or untrusting. This is a lesson from which we should all learn. I wish Mr. Plummer and his wife all the best.

  • Always Ask For Credentials

    If a physician or practitioner tells you they are Board Eligible in a specialty, it means that they are eligible to take the certification exam. They likely have completed a course of study from a fringe board and not a nationally recognized board. Always go to a Board Certified provider.

  • Always Ask For Credentials

    I cannot stress enough the importance of a patient asking any new provider or practitioner for their credentials. Connecticut is a state that doesn’t crack down on phony practitioners. I worked admin in an office and found out the Physical Therapist was performing therapy without a license. Also be careful of physicians with multiple specialties. If they are Board Eligible, RUN. Only go to a specialist who is Board Certified.

  • JT, MD

    I have worked with PA’s, and some of them are very arrogant and think they know more than doctors.

  • bj

    From the National Cancer Website:
    Key Points
    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the PSA test along with a digital rectal exam to help detect prostate cancer in men age 50 and older. The FDA has also approved the PSA test to monitor patients with a history of prostate cancer to see if the cancer has recurred (come back).
    Doctors’ recommendations for PSA screening vary.
    The higher a man’s PSA level, the more likely it is that cancer is present, but there are other possible reasons for an elevated PSA level.
    Doctors take several factors into account for men who have a rising PSA level after treatment for prostate cancer.
    The PSA test for screening has limitations and is still controversial.
    Researchers are studying ways to

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