Mayo Clinic Health System issues statement on additional charges - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Mayo Clinic Health System issues statement on additional charges against former doc

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EAU CLAIRE (Press Release from Mayo Clinic Health System) - The information we have learned from the police investigation and our own internal analysis of former physician Dr. David Van de Loo's behavior is extremely troubling. This situation has been difficult and devastating for our patients.

The trust between health care providers and their patients is at the core of everything we stand for at Mayo Clinic Health System. We are grateful to, and fully support, patients and families who stepped forward with their experiences. We recognize that patients place a high level of trust in their health care provider, and registering a complaint against them can be extremely difficult, especially when dealing with a sensitive topic like this. We have been working to ensure patients with concerns receive the support they need.

The first complaint of this nature was received by Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire on Aug. 30, 2012. We immediately began a thorough internal investigation, and Dr. Van de Loo was placed on administrative leave within 24 hours, meaning he had no further contact with any patients. We reported Dr. Van de Loo to the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board on Sept. 11, and his employment with Mayo Clinic Health System was ended on Sept. 12. We reached out to Dr. Van de Loo's patients and asked them to come forward if they had any similar experiences, and we have actively cooperated with the Eau Claire Police Department throughout their investigation and will continue to do so.

Based on what we've learned, it appears that, for some time, Dr. Van de Loo engaged in behavior that was outside of medical standards and contrary to expectations of a Mayo Clinic Health System physician. We believe that he violated the trust of his patients by falsely portraying his inappropriate actions as medically necessary and part of a normal physical examination. It appears he shielded his conduct from other physicians and the organization, and used deceptive methods to conceal his behavior, potentially for years. This was a complete violation of the trust patients place in their doctor.

At Mayo Clinic Health System, we will continue to work diligently every day to earn the trust of our patients. Protecting patients remains our highest priority. To help ensure all patients remain safe, we have expanded our chaperone policy to go beyond the medical industry standard. In addition to requiring chaperones for opposite-gender adolescent physicals, a chaperone will be present for same-gender adolescent physicals as well.

We encourage any patients or families to continue to step forward if they had similar experiences to those reported. If you have any concerns or questions, please call our Customer Service Information Line at 715-464-7777 or the Eau Claire Police Department. Because the care in question involved private body parts, these types of conversations can be challenging to have with your children. For information about how best to talk with your child about this topic and what's appropriate for general exams, go to www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/tips-for-parents.

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