The Oregon Medical Board has ordered an emergency suspension of the license of Kenneth J. Welker, who operates Oregon Optimal Health in Eugene, Oregon. The suspension order indicates that the board was concerned about his management of 13 patients. The order stated:
Welker showed "a pattern of treating patients with forms of treatment that are not medically indicated and unnecessarily exposed his patients to the risk of harm." The inappropriate treatments included chelation therapy, hydrogen peroxide infusions, and stem cell injections.
In many of the cases, Welker failed to adequately investigate serious symptoms.
Welker failed to coordinate his care with that of the the patients' primary doctors.
In some instances he advised patients to stop taking vitally important medications.
In one case, Welker made "38 distinct diagnoses" and included 29 dietary supplements among his treatment recommendations.
In several cases he prescribed testosterone without adequate safeguards.
Welker originally trained as a surgeon and practiced bariatric surgery for several years. Then, according to his Web site, he began to seek "deeper answers to better health and sustainable weight loss" and became enamored with the idea of "uncovering the biochemical basis of dysfunction and treating the problem, not the symptom." In 2007, he pursued training in "functional medicine," and "anti-aging/regenerative medicine" and changed the nature of his practice. Welker's clinic Web site offers a variety of nonstandard health care approaches. Before the suspension, the clinic staff consisted of him and his wife, who is a nurse practitioner. After the suspension, his name was removed but the clinic offerings appear to be the same.
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