OKLAHOMA: A Tulsa chiropractor who sells naturopathic remedies, including some that area medical professionals say are ineffective, is being told to stop allowing himself to be misrepresented as a medical doctor.
Joel Robbins has been licensed in Oklahoma since 1978, is in good standing and has active status with the Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He operates Living Health Concepts at 61st Street and Sheridan Avenue.
A Tulsa World investigation shows that Robbins has degrees from nonaccredited, offshore colleges and provides at least one service his laboratory is not qualified to provide.
The Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision has investigated Robbins and told him to cease and desist portraying himself as a medical doctor by putting the initials MD after his name on advertisements, Executive Director Lyle Kelsey said.
In an interview at his office recently, Robbins said he does not pretend to practice medicine. He has no opposition to traditional medicine and considers his practice complementary to it.
Robbins said he has stopped putting the MD after his name, but other organizations still do, despite letters he has sent that ask them to stop.
Robbins is listed as an MD on at least five websites and is named as a medical doctor in an online video, although he is not licensed to practice medicine anywhere.
Kelsey said the medical board has sent its information about Robbins to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office requesting prosecution.
The District Attorney’s Office has no current investigation into Robbins, a spokeswoman said.
Kelsey said Robbins has the responsibility to attempt to set the record straight.
“He ought to be trying to make some effort to take it off,” he said.
Oklahoma law requires children attending school to receive certain vaccines, but parents may exempt their children for medical, personal or religious reasons.
Robbins keeps the exemption paperwork on file in his office with a summary for personal beliefs against vaccines already filled in.
Robbins said he believes a product called an immunity booster combined with a proper diet is just as effective as a vaccine.
Dr. Brian McDowell, a local pediatrician, said a patient asked him about Robbins’ “alternative to vaccines.”
McDowell told her vaccines are vital to preventing serious diseases and said Robbins is “dangerous.”
There has been no evidence that vaccines can cause autism, a relatively common misconception, said Dr. Stanley Grogg, an associate dean of clinical research at Oklahoma State University.
“Vaccines have been proven by evidence-based medicine to be very safe,” he said.
Robbins said he received a medical degree from the British West Indies Medical College, which is not accredited and was founded by a man who pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license in October 1989.