Letters of Support

I feel blessed by the many people who have reached out to me and to the practice, as well as by my amazing staff, who have remained steadfast in the wake of all of this turmoil and uncertainty.
It is one thing for me to defend myself and my quality of care, but I think it is more effective to let those who know my work speak for me:

Physician Support:

25 of my physician colleagues (MD's, DO's, and ND's) have submitted letters or declarations on my behalf, and a couple of others have expressed support but are concerned about speaking out formally because of concerns about drawing the eye of the Medical Board to their own practices (which I find particularly chilling.) I will here post a letter from Dr. Ingraham, a highly respected former President of the Humboldt Del Norte Medical Society and current chair of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
Image Dr. Ingraham Letter - letter from Dr. Ingraham

Other Healthcare Providers

We have also received letters of support from a number of other colleagues: nurse practitioners, physical therapists, psychotherapists, nurses, midwives, and other allied healthcare providers whom I have been privileged to call team members in my various patients' care.

Patient support:

There are more than 350 patient letters which have arrived so far, and we are also told a number of people have sent letters directly to the Medical Board rather than to us. I am very touched by the letters, which have reminded me of so many of our shared journeys. It has been a privilege to serve the amazing patients who have made their way to my office, and you have all taught me so much.

We are sharing a small subset of the patient letters we have received here, with the permission of the patients who shared them. The vast majority of these patients are on no controlled substances at all, and describe ways I have helped them with painful conditions without resorting to such drugs.
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 1220 Not Pain Patient - a general letter from someone whose family has worked in healthcare
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 1585 Contraindicated Combo Of Meds - a patient who arrived on a contraindicated combination of medications, and who had not been informed of risks of benzos
Image Patient And Provider Support Letter 1275 Art Of Medicine - a patient who is also a therapist and who noticed I persuade rather than coerce
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 1275 Stroke And Mental Health - a second letter from her, noting I recognized a classic lacunar stroke syndrome that two Emergency Physicians failed to recognize
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 65 Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Husband With Pain - a breast cancer patient, whose husband had chronic pain
Image Patient Letter Redacted 1185 Complex Medical Illness With Social Issues

There are a large number of letters describing me offering acupuncture, herbs, PT referrals, etc when they developed pain - I never offer opioids as a first choice or a sole strategy.
Image Patient Letter Of Support Redacted 921 Acupuncture, Friends With Pain - a Patient who had a flare of pain treated with acupuncture, but who has had friends with chronic pain who required stronger medications. Please note we do not know the identity of the medication her second friend was on, since he was not under my care - it may or may not have been an opioid.

Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 1014 Off Pain Meds - a patient I helped taper off of 240 mg oxycontin per day back in 2006, before it was even fashionable!
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 952 Successfully Tapering - a patient who has recently tapered from 500 mg morphine per day to 20 mg per day, without withdrawal
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 21 Tapered Opioids And Challenging Diagnoses - another patient who has successfully tapered, with complex medical issues
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 282 RA And Other Issues - a patient with RA and multiple other issues
Image Patient Letter Redacted 484 Fibro And Postop Issues - a patient with fibro managed with non-narcotics, who got through a joint replacement and back off opioids, and whose family I see
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 612 Patient With Pain - A patient with hemochromatosis whose pain is managed and who has trained for a second career

Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 1482 Home Visits - Palliative care: A patient whose partner was seen at home during her terminal illness

Part of the Solution

I also have training in prescribing suboxone, which is used in conjunction with Behavioral Therapy for Medication Assisted Treatment of Addiction. I have offered this since 2007, also before it was in fashion. We make a commitment to get addicts in within 24 hours when they express interest in treatment, and many patients have given feedback that the non-judgmental attitude with which they are welcomed has helped them to be successful in treatment.
Patients of mine with chronic pain who have demonstrated difficulty managing their medications are offered buprenorphine as an alternative if I am not able to safely prescribe opioids for them. Many find their pain relief is excellent with this medication, though some report it does not work for them.

Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 992 Dermatitis, Postop Pain And Shingles - a patient with unexplained dermatitis, high risk for addiction with a history of alcoholism, who avoided starting opioids twice for acute pain
Image Patient Support Letter Redacted 1164 Patient In Recovery - a patient with addiction who has turned his life around in our suboxone program

Media Coverage:

I also thank those who have written Letters to the Editor at various local sites and papers, and who have agreed to speak with the reporters who are interested in finding out what actually happens in my practice:
Lost Coast Outpost(external link) - Freddy Brewster

Redheaded Blackbelt (external link)- PATIENTS ARE PEOPLE NOT NUMBERS
Another Redheaded Blackbelt Letter to the Editor(external link) - Please support local doctor

My Word: Realize what a true healer Dr. Basch is(external link)
Letter to the editor from a local physician(external link)

Times Standard(external link) - article from a reporter who visited an ongoing Healing Group
Article after the City Council Meeting(external link) - btw, I did not ask them for any letter

Pain News Network (external link)