Country doctor who doesn’t use a computer won’t get license back

Newswire: Nov. 30, 2017.
Dateline: New London, N.H.

A doctor who has never used a computer in her 46-year career as a family physician will not get her medical license restored, following a ruling by a judge in New Hampshire.

Dr. Anna Konopka, 84, had surrendered her license before going before a disciplinary hearing at the New Hampshire Board of Medicine. Her refusal to use a computer conflicted with several requirements of the Board, particularly New Hampshire’s mandatory electronic drug monitoring program. That launched in 2014 as a response to the crisis of opioid over-prescription and abuse in the state.

Nonetheless, Dr. Konopka says that “electronic medicine has no place in medicine at all,” calling it “good for the system, not for the patients.” She testified in Merrimack County Superior Court that she had been pressured to relinquish her license, and asked that it be reinstated.

Dr. Konopka testified that she treats about 20 patients a week, without any secretary or nurse, and keeps only handwritten health records. While many in New London, a town of 4,400, support her, part of the case against her license involved a case in which a 7-year-old patient with asthma. Dr. Konopka was alleged to have not treated the child with appropriate medicine, and left its dosage up to the parents; Dr. Konopka contends she never harmed the child and the parents did not follow her instructions.

Dr. Konopka, who charged a flat $50 fee for a visit, stopped accepting insurance payments three years ago because of the electronic reporting requirements involved. She calls electronic medicine a “war on the private physician.”

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