Houston Methodist physician resigns following suspension over COVID-19 social media posts

A physician resigned her privileges at Houston Methodist Hospital on Nov. 15 after being temporarily suspended over social media posts about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Mary Bowden, MD, an ear, nose and throat physician in private practice, recently joined the medical staff at Houston Methodist Hospital, the flagship of the Houston Methodist system. The hospital suspended Dr. Bowden's privileges on Nov. 12 after the physician used her social media accounts to spread "dangerous misinformation which is not based in science," the hospital said. Houston Methodist, which comprises an academic medical center and six community hospitals, said Dr. Bowden never admitted a patient at Houston Methodist Hospital.

On Nov. 12, Dr. Bowden told radio station KTRH she would be sending her resignation letter that morning in response to her privileges being suspended, and said she is disappointed in how the situation was handled by Houston Methodist.

"I don't think I am dangerous," she told KTRH. "I think if you look at my website and you listen to my interviews with (conservative radio host) Michael Berry, I've never said anything that's considered dangerous."

Dr. Bowden did not respond to a request from the Houston Chronicle for further comment. Houston Methodist told Becker's Hospital Review on Nov. 16 that it did not have a follow-up statement.

Dr. Bowden has tweeted about vaccination mandates and treatments, including her support for the drug ivermectin. Ivermectin is typically used to treat parasitic infections in animals, and the FDA has warned against using it to treat COVID-19.

Dr. Bowden also has criticized vaccination mandates on social media, CNN reported Nov. 13.

Houston Methodist tweeted Nov. 12 that Dr. Bowden is using her social media accounts to express her personal and political opinions, "which are harmful to the community, [and] do not reflect reliable medical evidence or the values of Houston Methodist."

Texas Medical Board records show Dr. Bowden has an active license with no disciplinary restrictions.

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