Nov. 29—A Waterville osteopathic doctor with a lengthy history of medical misconduct has been suspended from practice for 30 days for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and signing off on vaccine exemption letters that a regulatory board found questionable.
Dr. Paul Gosselin, who operates the Patriots Health clinic on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville, was suspended from the practice of medicine and prescribing medication in a Nov. 19 decision by the state's Board of Osteopathic Licensure.
The suspension is effective until Dec. 18, but it could be lifted or extended following an adjudicatory hearing. The board's next scheduled meeting is in early December, although it's unclear if or when it will hold a full hearing on his suspension.
The decision came after the state regulators reviewed multiple vaccine exemption letters signed by Gosselin. They also received reports from other medical providers who were concerned Gosselin was spreading misinformation about the coronavirus, although the board's notice of suspension does not specify what misinformation he shared. The decision also does not explain why the vaccination exemption letters were questionable.
The board said it found evidence that Gosselin committed fraud or deceit, and was incompetent and unprofessional, according to the emergency notice, which was posted online.
Gosselin, who was first licensed to practice in Maine in 1999, hung up on a reporter who wanted to ask him about the suspension Monday afternoon. He recently began an GoFundMe fundraiser, seeking $100,000 for his legal costs, saying he came under scrutiny for "for writing exemption letters and treating Covid."
"This is not about Dr. Gosselin retaining his medical license but it is about revealing the truth about the current restrictions being imposed on our children and the American people," Gosselin wrote in his online appeal for cash.
According to his clinic's website, Gosselin offers "affordable attentive holistic healthcare" through a range of services, including traditional family practice and internal medicine, medication-assisted treatment for addiction and alternative medicine. He is the only medical provider listed at the clinic.
He also lists COVID-19 treatment options, including a combined regimen of vitamins, steroids and a blood thinner that is not approved by the FDA for COVID treatment and has not been tested in clinical trials — but is being marketed by a group of doctors who claim it is effective. Those doctors, under the name Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, were early proponents of another purported virus treatment that the FDA has warned against — prescribing the deworming medicine Ivermectin, which is often prescribed for animals. The group maintains a nationwide list of pharmacies that have agreed to fill Ivermectin prescriptions for off-label use.
One page on Gosselin's clinic website offers a one-time flat rate of $200 for the unproven coronavirus regimen, with continued treatment through a membership program. It does not specify what treatments or medications are included in the service.
Gosselin also links to another medical group that is skeptical of vaccinations. One article he provides a link to, by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, pushes the unsanctioned use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. Other links to that group on Gosselin's website suggest that mRNA vaccines for COVID-19, which were found to be safe and effective in double-blind clinical trials, may have unknown side effects, and raise doubts about whether parents should vaccinate their children.
The osteopathic licensing board has taken disciplinary action against Gosselin before. In 2002, the board entered into a consent agreement in which Gosselin agreed to undergo psychiatric evaluation and professionalism training and submit to oversight of his practice by an outside entity, according to a 2o14 disciplinary decision that described his history of infractions with the board.
The 2002 consent agreement was based on board findings in two incidents. In 1999, the year Gosselin was first licensed to practice in Maine, he responded to emergency calls from an ICU nurse after he had consumed alcohol and when he was not on call. In 2001, he impersonated his physician assistant and called two pharmacies in an attempt to obtain prescriptions for himself.
His next disciplinary case was decided in 2011, when the board determined that Gosselin had committed professional violations related to a romantic relationship with a woman who was also his patient.
In that case, the woman, who was not named, knew Gosselin from a past romantic relationship in the 1990s when Gosselin was still in medical school. After reconnecting with him, she became his patient. When their romantic relationship restarted, he continued to treat her as a patient, including during a period when they lived together.
It's unclear if their relationship ended, but Gosselin continued to call the woman periodically.
The situation came to a head when Gosselin went to the woman's home one night with a handgun while intoxicated. He told the woman he had brought the gun for her to protect herself against his wife, who had made threats against the woman, according to board documents. After he refused to undergo a board-ordered mental evaluation, he was issued a warning and ordered to undergo professionalism training.
In 2013, Gosselin was charged with operating under the influence after his erratic driving in Fairfield caused two cars to crash before Gosselin drove into a ditch and then left the scene.
Although he had no alcohol in his system, Gosselin was displaying signs of impairment, and a urine sample ordered by Fairfield police found multiple narcotics in his system, including morphine, according to the osteopathy board. Gosselin argued that his urine sample must have been switched with another person's, but the board did not find his explanations credible.
In that case, the board suspended his license for 90 days and threatened another year of suspension if he did not comply with a five-year probationary period during which he was ordered to undergo mental health and substance abuse counseling, hire someone to oversee his practice and submit monthly reports on his progress on both fronts.
Three years later, in 2017, Gosselin was found to have violated the probationary terms and a one-year suspension was imposed that August. It's unclear when Gosselin restarted practicing medicine, or when Patriots Health began operation.