Illinois physician claims imitator wrecked his career

Jay Joshi, MD, an Illinois physician specializing in pain treatment, sued another physician with the same name in federal court, claiming the other physician's criminal case has destroyed his career.

Here are six things to know:

1. In his lawsuit, Dr. Joshi alleges a physician with his same name used his name, reputation and credibility to turn a small medical practice into a moneymaking opioid "pill mill."

2. The other physician, whom the complaint calls "imitator" Dr. Joshi, was indicted and arrested by federal authorities for illegal distribution of a controlled substance. He pleaded guilty to the charges in July.

3. Dr. Joshi alleges the pill mill case received national media attention because people are confused about who was involved in the illegal activity.

"Because of the market confusion resulting from the imposter Joshi's unfair, deceptive, and criminal actions, people everywhere, from patients, to medical colleagues, to journalists, are confused into incorrectly believing that the real Dr. Joshi is the person in all the news stories about the doctor that was arrested for giving out pain pills like candy," the complaint states.

4. After the imitator Dr. Joshi learned he shared the same name as a well-regarded pain specialist, he allegedly began holding himself out to the public as a pain specialist, despite having no experience or expertise in pain medicine.

"The imitator Joshi began marketing himself as a pain specialist using the real Dr. Joshi's credentials and reviews," the complaint states. "The imitator Joshi gave interviews to journalists who were trying to get in touch with, and then thought they were speaking with the real Dr. Joshi. The imitator Joshi would intentionally conceal, suppress, and omit the material fact that he was in fact not the real Dr. Joshi and not a pain medicine specialist."

5. Due to the imitator allegedly posing as the real Dr. Joshi, there was a mix-up about who was charged in the criminal case.

"A large part of the reason news of the imitator Joshi's indictment spread so fast, and the public was so fixated upon it, is because people found the idea of such a high-profile doctor … being taken down for the very acts fought against irresistibly scandalous," the complaint states.

6. The confusion about the criminal case, which the complaint alleges was due to the imitator's intentional acts, has ruined the real Dr. Joshi's career.

"The most cruel, ironic, and devastating aspect of the imitator Joshi's actions is that the real Dr. Joshi, who up until recently enjoyed a hard earned reputation not only of impeccable credibility in pain medicine, but also of being on the vanguard of speaking out publicly against counterfeit pain physicians such as the imitator Joshi, is now erroneously being disgraced and defamed as the lowest possible order of physician, the one who puts revenue before the wellbeing of his patients, and breaks drug laws while doing so."

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