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Dr. Biter Speaks Out (finally!)

Yesterday, San Diego News Network published their interview with Dr. Robert Biter (my “Dr. Wonderful”). It is the first public interview with him and I was so glad to see him finally speak up about what he was going through and how it has affected his patients/clients. 

Along with the written interview, Dr. Biter speaks, for 4:57 on (what is now) a YouTube video. 

Comments are welcome. 

Dr. Biter opens up, talks Scripps suspension

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Reader Comments (20)

Can he make a national chain minus the McDonald's mentality?

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Doctors have too much pressure to conform.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterddewi

I want to know why, in only 12 years of practice, this paragon of the profession has racked up 6 lawsuits [two by the same plaintiff]. He is obviously being a great deal less than fully transparent and trying to make himself out to be a victim. Sorry. Now he's trying to manipulate public opinion and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If he feels innocent, why isn't he sueing the hospital for wrongful dismissal?

Barb, your sympathy for this man should be tempered with common sense. Doctors do not lose admission privileges for no reason. BTW, his definition of "natural" birth is incorrect. A natural birth is a non-instrumental or non-operative delivery. That's all. The natural birth movement came into being in the early 60s because analgesia in labor consisted of IV medication [epidurals, and their precursors, caudals, were not yet available -- I remember when they were introduced, as well as fetal monitoring and ultrasound -- I am a real Old Trout] which did depress the infants badly. It had nothing to do with low lights, nice music, alternative medicine, or interventions designed to PROTECT the infant, such as fetal monitoring, or not allowing prolonged labor to avoid C/S.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAntigonos

No wonder OBs like this are so hard to find with all this pressure and blackmailing. My pediatrician said he started school to be an OB til he attended a few homebirths with midwives and then he said he could not in good concious practice the way he was being trained and he knew he didn't have the strength to go so far against the grain of his peers, he said its hard enough to practice pediatrics the way he believes.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelli

Poor darling - what a heartbreak for him. I'm glad he's hopeful for the future. Can't wait to see what he does next!

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

The part of his story that I didn't like was that the ONLY natural birth is unmedicated. I think it sets up women who choose to have medication (or an epidural or end up with an unplanned c-section) for some pretty heavy emotional issues after they give birth.

I can't tell you how many times I have talked, massaged, coached a woman through a labor and despite all the positive reinforcement that I give them, they choose to have an intervention. Then they feel so guilty afterwards. I feel guilty. They did all that work and all then feel guilty for 'giving up' or for pushing for hours and hours and then having a c-section. Or laboring with grace, then their water breaks, there is a cord prolapse and a life-saving crash c-section must be performed.

They grew that baby. They are feeding that baby. The will raise that baby into an adult.

I hate the animosity between the camps. I want every woman to educate themselves. I want every woman to feel good about their birth. When we start calling births 'unnatural' because someone didn't birth they way WE want them to, we are doing harm.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMishaRN

It comes back to the fact that in order to have a lawsuit, you need a bad outcome. Not only that, you need such an egregious bad outcome that people resort to lawsuits....trial lawyers take cases on contingency, and if they don't think there is a good reason, they won't take the case.

Bad outcome: dead baby. Injured/brain-injured infant, injured mom. GYN bad outcome: constant pain, incontinence, infection, fistulas, loss of function.....not good.

If this was an interventionist OB with this record, you would be screaming for his head. Huh?

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfuzzy

I agree with you Misha.

To me, there is surgical or vaginal, and there is medicated or non-medicated.

I don't like the idea that we are calling some women's labor and deliveries unnatural. As someone who needed some medical help conceiving my first child, I know how hurtful and demeaning it can when something about your child is deemed, "unnatural".

When people hear that I had a "natural" birth, I usually interrupt them and tell them I had an unmedicated labor and delivery.

FWIW, no meds, no IV, intermittent monitoring, so by all accounts, it was "natural".

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Dr. Amy and her followers seem to think that ALL "good" obs/ gyns have 100% good outcomes. Bad outcome does not equal malpractice, and no verdict equals innocent until proven guilty. It's a very strange crusade they've taken on, considering their complete lack of facts.

June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAly

Go, Doc, Go! Create a wonderful birthing center with integrated doctor/midwife care that is not stuck within the hospital's medicalized stictures.

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate Strand

@fuzzy: I think he said in the interview that he did not have any OB lawsuits, so no dead baby outcomes. Did I hear wrong?

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer B

Continuos fetal monitoring may be "designed" to protect infants, but that's not what it's been doing lately- i.e. leading to unnecessary cesareans and providing fodder for the type of lawsuits we see in obstetrics, not better outcomes.

I think that the point he was trying to make was that women should be permitted to pursue their individual definition of "natural"- that it shouldn't be limited to simply a vaginal birth.

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Fuzzy, i just want to point out that in the beginning of the piece he states that the lawsuits are GYN related, not OB related, yet his OB privileges were the ones taken away from him.

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

So this birthing center he mentions: I want to know- where will it be and how can I be hired?????

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLabor Nurse, CNM

I don't have anything against Dr. Biter and if I lived in the area likely, he would be an OB I would want by my side when I gave birth, so this comments isn't really about him, but in response to your comment. He does specifically say in the interview with SDNN:

"A natural birth is an unmedicated birth"

That's a pretty clear statement and doesn't seem to be about women pursuing their own definition of "natural".

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

That's great that he finally spoke out! He seems like a nice guy. I admit my experiences make it difficult for me to believe he truly is "Dr. Wonderful". Perhaps he really is?
However, I find it odd that he can not talk about any of the details that led to his dismissal and his reinstatement and basically just reiterated information we have heard before.
I truly hope he is a Dr. Wonderful. I have had the privilege to know at least 2 Dr. Wonderful's in my time and a whole lot of Dr. Psycho's so I think the numbers are few and far between... but for the sake of his patients and his birth center, I hope he is a Dr. Wonderful!

July 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

The interview...WHAT A LOAD OF BABY POOP!!! (just to put it nicely)
Lashing out at the hospital and medical staff is obviously the intent however Dr Biter's statements attempt to insult the Birth Pavilion and its nursing staff...the nurses that actually stayed with his patients the entire time and worked hard to give them the meaningful labors the patients so desired (while he was elsewhere). Keep in mind these nurses include those that also supported Dr Biter during his ridiculous demonstration. As stated by someone in an earlier blog...natural childbirth was and continues to be an important practice at Scripps Encinitas. NCB has occured there for 16+ years and continues still.

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFPO

At least one suit names the fertility center and himself.....And at this point, I'm not willing to believe that his OB privledges were removed for no reason. Not all of those suits have a disclosed cause.

And if you want to disregard a bad GYN outcome---why is it not important if you aren't birthing babies? Bad gyn outcome: Incontinence, persistant pain, adhesions, inability to have sex without pain....these wouldn't matter to you?

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfuzzy

fuzzy said: "It comes back to the fact that in order to have a lawsuit, you need a bad outcome. Not only that, you need such an egregious bad outcome that people resort to lawsuits....trial lawyers take cases on contingency, and if they don't think there is a good reason, they won't take the case."

But wait! I thought we were in the midst of a frivolous lawsuit epidemic that is driving OBs from the profession in droves! Thanks for busting the myth with your claim that every lawsuit has something egregious behind it. [end sarcasm]

Tell ACOG.

Sorry if this is too off-topic, Barb. I've been reading all of the interesting comments from IP address from San Diego on your blog and ours. The names used are FPO, amanda R and uh huh. They know an awful lot about nursing care at Scripps Encinitas.

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill--Unnecesarean

I was watching a Really good movie based on a true story about a huge lawsuit against a Boston tannery company guilty of illegal dumping resulting in chronic illness and death among children in the surrounding community. The question the personal injury attorneys faced was whether or not to go to trial or settle out of court. Basically, you go to court when you pretty much know you will win and you settle OUT of court if you know you will lose. You also settle out of court to keep the terms confidential and off public record. The more evidence the prosecution discovered against this company, the more it became clear that going to trial was right choice. The defense however (the guilty company) wanted to settle out of court since they knew they were guilty and would lose. Obviously the prosecution went to trial, won and stricter environmental protection laws were created. This movie raised some questions in my mind. The public is aware of the current cases against Dr Biter, as of 6/29 there were 8 listed on the San Diego Court website (7 if you count the plaintiff listed twice), and as Dr Biter states in his interview no cases have been decided against him. I wonder if any have settled out of court OB or GYN. I guess the public will never know.

August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFPO

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