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Dr. Timothy Kuklo

Dr. Timothy Kuklo

I have had back problems for about a decade, and a while back I finally needed back surgery.  My usual doctor referred me to a surgeon who was a bit messy and had a ratty carpet and tacky artwork in his office.  When I asked his office assitants who in their office was a perfectionist, they said, “all of our doctors are perfectionists.”  Right.  Then this non-perfectionist surgeon told me he’d have to cut away part of my spine to then cut off a small part of a spinal disc.  Time for a second opinion.
After stumbling around the internet, I found a “doctor finder” website that listed the number of medical whitepapers a doctor had published.  “Ahah!”, I thought.  “I’ll just look for the doc with the most scholarly papers published to his name!”  And that turned out to be one Timothy Kuklo, with 67 whitepapers published.
I went to see him.  Dr. Kuklo’s office was immaculate, his staff exceedingly professional.  He had a not a single hair out of place.  In short, he looked like the kind of doctor you wanted operating on your back.  And when he told me he didn’t have to cut off any bone to reach the disc, that the incision would be at most two centimeters, and the recovery easy, I was sold.
Indeed the surgery was successful, and my recovery ridiculously short and easy.  I never even used a single one of my Oxycodone pills (eat your heart out Mr. Limbaugh).  All was well!  For a while . . . sadly, eight months later I suffered a sports injury.  My primary care physician again recommended surgery and (again) referred me to the non-perfectionist surgeon.  Right.  “Hah!”  I said to myself.  “I’ll just schedule a consultation with Dr. Timothy Kuklo again!”
So I called up his doctor’s group and they said he was no longer with them and they didn’t know where he’d gone.  No problem.  I’ll just Google him.  I did so, and what did I find, but a New York Times story on a$800,000 case of fraud and scholarly dishonesty involving one Dr. Timothy Kuklo being paid to falsify the results of a whitepaper whilst forging the signatures of four other doctors!  Wait, this couldn’t be MY Dr. Kuklo, right?!  Alas, he was the very same man.
Now the fraud was so ineptly carried out that I think Dr. Kuklo was probably a fairly honest man prior to this indiscretion.  No, lifelong scoundrels are sure to “misremember” things or fudge the facts, depending on what your definition of the word “is” is.  No I think Dr. Kuklo probably was what he seemed to be at first: an excellent surgeon.  I think he just went off the deep end when he thought of all that money offered him.  Sad really.
This all brought one memory screaming back to me:  When I first met Dr. Kuklo, I explained how I’d chosen him because of his 67 published white papers.  He chuckled and responded, “Well . . . that’s not always a good way to choose a doctor.”  I guess he was right.
Now, my back had indeed healed well, so I wasn’t really worried about the quality of work he’d previously performed for me.  However, one doesn’t want a man guilty of lying in exchange for $800,000 from a pharmaceutical company to cut on oneself a second time.  I need a perfectionist who is also a decent guy.
I think my next surgeon should have a fancy car AND homely wife.  I’ll let you know how well that turns out.

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