Bergstrom case to jury

Bergstrom case to jury

There are 281 comments on the Monterey County Herald story from Jul 25, 2009, titled Bergstrom case to jury. In it, Monterey County Herald reports that:

Deliberations will continue Monday in the case of Dr. Carl Bergstrom, who is accused of forcibly sodomizing a female acquaintance in his home.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Monterey County Herald.

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Sam Monterey

United States

#1 Jul 25, 2009
Good, now the medical board is formally involved for his conduct unbecoming a physician.
My prediction is that the jury will deadlock because of Worthington being so good at his job. But, Bergstrom's practice will be done.

Either way he's history.

He did this to himself. What a fool. He had it all, and threw it all away for a couple of "Oh Please- Carmel" types.

If he's acquitted, I hope he gets in trouble for using cocaine on the job. No doctor should be in practice whilst on illicit drugs.

He has no respect for women, his children, the noble practice of medicine, or this community.
Billy

Monterey, CA

#2 Jul 25, 2009
Sam Monterey wrote:
Good, now the medical board is formally involved for his conduct unbecoming a physician.
My prediction is that the jury will deadlock because of Worthington being so good at his job. But, Bergstrom's practice will be done.
Either way he's history.
He did this to himself. What a fool. He had it all, and threw it all away for a couple of "Oh Please- Carmel" types.
If he's acquitted, I hope he gets in trouble for using cocaine on the job. No doctor should be in practice whilst on illicit drugs.
He has no respect for women, his children, the noble practice of medicine, or this community.
Based on what I've read in the paper, I also predict the jury will deadlock.
CA in Monterey

Mill Valley, CA

#3 Jul 25, 2009
Sam Monterey wrote:
Good, now the medical board is formally involved for his conduct unbecoming a physician.
My prediction is that the jury will deadlock because of Worthington being so good at his job. But, Bergstrom's practice will be done.
Either way he's history.
He did this to himself. What a fool. He had it all, and threw it all away for a couple of "Oh Please- Carmel" types.
If he's acquitted, I hope he gets in trouble for using cocaine on the job. No doctor should be in practice whilst on illicit drugs.
He has no respect for women, his children, the noble practice of medicine, or this community.
Here, here!

Since: Jan 09

San Francisco, CA

#4 Jul 25, 2009
Sam Monterey wrote:
Good, now the medical board is formally involved for his conduct unbecoming a physician.
My prediction is that the jury will deadlock because of Worthington being so good at his job. But, Bergstrom's practice will be done.
Either way he's history.
He did this to himself. What a fool. He had it all, and threw it all away for a couple of "Oh Please- Carmel" types.
If he's acquitted, I hope he gets in trouble for using cocaine on the job. No doctor should be in practice whilst on illicit drugs.
He has no respect for women, his children, the noble practice of medicine, or this community.
It's inconceivable to feel exultant about Carl's current dreadful situation or his decidedly grim future prospects.

It's also impossible not to see the damage his admitted behavior has done to (as you aptly describe it) the noble practice of medicine. Physicians work very hard and sacrifice much of their personal lives to gain their patients' trust. That trust is a necessary component of the doctor-patient relationship.

His own testimony shows that that trust has been violated repeatedly: he obtained and used illegal drugs, gave orders for patient care while under their influence and, on the night of arrest, was intoxicated while "available" to the patients in his concierge practice.

Additionally, he endagered Jane Doe's health (and all of the many other women with whom he has sex) by participating in unprotected high-risk sexual activity, as well as by the euphemistically described "double dipping".

All of this was presented as if it were accepted, conventional behavior; it's not. Most men do not consider this acceptable and certainly most physicians do not. Most physicians understand that the respect that comes with the title carries a burden of responsibility - the responsibility to behave in a manner that shows that their care of and concern for others isn't something that can be taken off at the end of the day with their white coat.
Sam Monterey

United States

#5 Jul 25, 2009
eleve wrote:
<quoted text>
It's inconceivable to feel exultant about Carl's current dreadful situation or his decidedly grim future prospects.
It's also impossible not to see the damage his admitted behavior has done to (as you aptly describe it) the noble practice of medicine. Physicians work very hard and sacrifice much of their personal lives to gain their patients' trust. That trust is a necessary component of the doctor-patient relationship.
His own testimony shows that that trust has been violated repeatedly: he obtained and used illegal drugs, gave orders for patient care while under their influence and, on the night of arrest, was intoxicated while "available" to the patients in his concierge practice.
Additionally, he endagered Jane Doe's health (and all of the many other women with whom he has sex) by participating in unprotected high-risk sexual activity, as well as by the euphemistically described "double dipping".
All of this was presented as if it were accepted, conventional behavior; it's not. Most men do not consider this acceptable
and certainly most physicians do not. Most physicians understand that the respect that comes with the title carries a burden of responsibility - the responsibility to behave in a manner that shows that their care of and concern for others isn't something that can be taken off at the end of the day with their white coat.
Very well summarized. I am glad there are citizens in this town who feel offended by Bergstrom's lack of regard for his own excellent profession, and lack of respect for those who aren't his patients.

You are absolutely right when you said the white coat does not come off after hours. That was poetic, and something I know to be true.

Thank you, Eleve, for letting people know that there are still good, decent, people in our area.

I have been rough in my posts regarding Bergstrom, but I am outraged, both as a citizen, and as a local doctor. I know him to be a good doctor, but there is absolutely no excuse for his behavior outside the office.

It was I who alerted the Medical Board to his ill-advised recreational habits. It was my duty as a physician to protect the reputation of the medical community, and to protect patients of this community. By law we are required to report fellow physicians who become incapacitated to practice medicine and risk harming patients. Bergstrom clearly falls in this category.
Sam

Salinas, CA

#6 Jul 25, 2009
Once again- Dr. Bergstrom is an important and productive member of this community. Physicians are a class above almost everyone else and should be treated with greater respect and tolerance than the rest. To paraphrase John 8:7 - He that is without illicit drug use and coerced sexual activity among you, let him first cast a stone.

Since: Jan 09

San Francisco, CA

#7 Jul 25, 2009
Sam wrote:
Once again- Dr. Bergstrom is an important and productive member of this community. Physicians are a class above almost everyone else and should be treated with greater respect and tolerance than the rest. To paraphrase John 8:7 - He that is without illicit drug use and coerced sexual activity among you, let him first cast a stone.
Dr. Bergstrom has absolutely been an important and productive community member, which is partly why even his self-described behaviors are so reprehensible.

Physicians are generally accorded great respect, because they've worked to earn and maintain it. Ergo, their profession does not accord them greater latitude in their transgressions but rather less.

Your comment about he who is without illicit drug use and coerced sexual activity is the most revealing. Those who have also been guilty of this conduct wish to absolve themselves as well. The majority of us can hold up our heads, say, "Not I" and cast stones, but that's not what this is about - it's about personal and professional responsibility and accountability.

Since: Jan 09

San Francisco, CA

#8 Jul 25, 2009
Sam Monterey wrote:
<quoted text>
Very well summarized. I am glad there are citizens in this town who feel offended by Bergstrom's lack of regard for his own excellent profession, and lack of respect for those who aren't his patients.
You are absolutely right when you said the white coat does not come off after hours. That was poetic, and something I know to be true.
Thank you, Eleve, for letting people know that there are still good, decent, people in our area.
I have been rough in my posts regarding Bergstrom, but I am outraged, both as a citizen, and as a local doctor. I know him to be a good doctor, but there is absolutely no excuse for his behavior outside the office.
It was I who alerted the Medical Board to his ill-advised recreational habits. It was my duty as a physician to protect the reputation of the medical community, and to protect patients of this community. By law we are required to report fellow physicians who become incapacitated to practice medicine and risk harming patients. Bergstrom clearly falls in this category.
Your outrage is understandable. His behavior, in conjunction with the comments of some of his "defenders" implying that many doctors act similarly and hold their patients in contempt, has been a great disservice to the majority of caring, respectable physicians.

Unfortunately, most in the medical community find it difficult to censure their peers, even in the face of gross incompetence or glaring misdeeds. No doubt making the decision to alert the Medical Board was not easy, but you are to be lauded for doing the right thing for his patients and our community.
Ok whatever

United States

#9 Jul 25, 2009
Sam wrote:
Once again- Dr. Bergstrom is an important and productive member of this community. Physicians are a class above almost everyone else and should be treated with greater respect and tolerance than the rest. To paraphrase John 8:7 - He that is without illicit drug use and coerced sexual activity among you, let him first cast a stone.
Physicians are also human beings with minor or major flaws the same as anyone else. How much respect would you give Dr. Harold Shipman who had 15 patients die of morphine overdoses (proven) while he was in their homes for a house call?

I am sure I can speak for the majority of the population and say that I never had to coerce someone to have sex with me or force myself on anyone sexually. As for illicit drugs, ok I admit I have but never on the job.

The accusation of drug use is not what he is on trial for. That will dealt with by the medical board. What has been implied is that he may have slipped them a Roofie so they could not put up a fight.

You're comments about physicians integrity and class status in general is worthless. The same used to be said about teachers and priests. Hardly a day goes by without seeing either on trial or convicted for sex crimes. In addition, none of his victims were patients of his so I cannot see where his profession has any bearing on this. He met them whiling hanging out in a bar not the office.
Dick

United States

#10 Jul 25, 2009
he is still a victim as the sex, was consentual. The women are not credible as they were drunk, on drugs, at least one or 2 of them., and performed sex with him. Later they claim rape. He still, no matter about the other stuff., tapes., coke, etc, is a victim of being accused of rape. That is what the hearing is all about.
Sam Monterey

Portland, OR

#11 Jul 25, 2009
The issue is now greater than what he on trial for.

Even if he is acquitted for what he has been accused for, he has revealed and confessed dangerous habits when it comes to practicing medicine.

He may or may not be guilty of sodomy or rape (only Bergstrom truly knows this).

But he is clearly guilty of practicing under the influence. And that, my friend, is a crime.

He is not an unintelligent man, and probably is preparing for a full investigation by the Medical Board.

His career, at least in California, may very well be over. Trust me, all the doctors in town are of the same opinion.
cvkathy

Marina, CA

#12 Jul 25, 2009
Ok whatever wrote:
<quoted text>
Physicians are also human beings with minor or major flaws the same as anyone else. How much respect would you give Dr. Harold Shipman who had 15 patients die of morphine overdoses (proven) while he was in their homes for a house call?
I am sure I can speak for the majority of the population and say that I never had to coerce someone to have sex with me or force myself on anyone sexually. As for illicit drugs, ok I admit I have but never on the job.
The accusation of drug use is not what he is on trial for. That will dealt with by the medical board. What has been implied is that he may have slipped them a Roofie so they could not put up a fight.
You're comments about physicians integrity and class status in general is worthless. The same used to be said about teachers and priests. Hardly a day goes by without seeing either on trial or convicted for sex crimes. In addition, none of his victims were patients of his so I cannot see where his profession has any bearing on this. He met them whiling hanging out in a bar not the office.
This isn't even remotely equitable. Dr. Harold Shipman was a serial killer and may have murdered up to 250 people. Murder and sexual assault aren't even close.
Ok whatever

United States

#13 Jul 25, 2009
Dick wrote:
he is still a victim as the sex, was consentual. The women are not credible as they were drunk, on drugs, at least one or 2 of them., and performed sex with him. Later they claim rape. He still, no matter about the other stuff., tapes., coke, etc, is a victim of being accused of rape. That is what the hearing is all about.
He is only on trial for one. The others were called to show that this was not a one time deal.

It is up to the jury to decide. Sure everyone is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. What I don't get is that people are putting him on an pedestal based on his profession. Doctors are not saints and some have committed violent acts.

I used to work for Dr. Daly who was convicted of child molestation. I never would have guessed it based on my interactions with him at work. He seemed to be a decent man. Most people don't know what goes on behind closed doors or what goes on after the workday is done.
Ok whatever

United States

#14 Jul 25, 2009
cvkathy wrote:
<quoted text>
This isn't even remotely equitable. Dr. Harold Shipman was a serial killer and may have murdered up to 250 people. Murder and sexual assault aren't even close.
Yes, Shipman was a serial killer but a violent crime is a violent crime. It is possible for even doctors to commit a violent act. Having a medical degree doesn't make one a saint and beyond reproach.
Outraged Doe 4

Antioch, CA

#15 Jul 25, 2009
Studies have shown that the prevalence of alcohol and other drug abuse among physicians are similar to - or higher than - the general population. Thus it stands to reason that many (not most-just many) physicians have problems in that regard.

One of Bergstrom's friends here said that he had gone to rehab already for cocaine. If he did this under the auspices of the Medical Boards's now-defunct Diversion program, he can't be hauled back for the same issue unless he broke the terms of his agreement.

How did Bergstrom's cocaine adventures entered into the current trial anyways? I understand that he admitted it, but without other testimony he wouldn't have done so unless he thought that he would get a pass from the Board.

If he gets acquitted in the current sodomy charges by a criminal jury, I just don't see the Medical Board charging him with the same crime.

I think Dr. B probably did assaulted the women, and that he is general sleazeball in his private life. Most doctors, obviously, are not like that. But then again, most postal workers, teachers, and landscapers also lead lives of circumspection and prudence. Doctors are really no different.
pablo

Bangkok, Thailand

#16 Jul 25, 2009
This guys life has been ruined.
What if he is innocent?
Is that any way to run a justice system?
Outraged Doe 4

United States

#17 Jul 25, 2009
pablo wrote:
This guys life has been ruined.
What if he is innocent?
Is that any way to run a justice system?
As I said, he prob. won't get convicted for this particular crime. But it is well established that he has had drug and alcohol problems, including at work and while on concierge call. I as a consumer won't seek out his medical services, just as I would shy away from gardeners and house-cleaners with such records.

Not to excuse anyone, but Bergstrom did his medical training when it was acceptable to toss down a couple of drinks when on duty, especially in small towns where you could be on 24/7. This cultural aspect has completely changed (rightly so) and it is now taboo to have a doctor drink anything and handle patient care. Bergstrom knows that, and his current problems are of his own making.

His main concern now, after his acquittal, should be to maintain his medical license. With that, he can at least make some money supervising blood-collection centers or as a prison doc.

But, he must have enough retirement money squirreled away after many years of practice in Carmel, no matter how much child support he was paying.
Outraged Doe 4

United States

#18 Jul 25, 2009
Sam Monterey wrote:
<quoted text>
Very well summarized. I am glad there are citizens in this town who feel offended by Bergstrom's lack of regard for his own excellent profession, and lack of respect for those who aren't his patients.
You are absolutely right when you said the white coat does not come off after hours. That was poetic, and something I know to be true.
Thank you, Eleve, for letting people know that there are still good, decent, people in our area.
I have been rough in my posts regarding Bergstrom, but I am outraged, both as a citizen, and as a local doctor. I know him to be a good doctor, but there is absolutely no excuse for his behavior outside the office.
It was I who alerted the Medical Board to his ill-advised recreational habits. It was my duty as a physician to protect the reputation of the medical community, and to protect patients of this community. By law we are required to report fellow physicians who become incapacitated to practice medicine and risk harming patients. Bergstrom clearly falls in this category.
You know, Monty Sam, you come across as some holier-than-thou avenger.

There is no law requiring you to report fellow physicians. You should do so on moral grounds, but there is no legal requirement.

I commend you for filing a report to the Medical Board, but since this done with no public disclosure it requires no moral courage. Also, Bergstrom's arrest would have triggered a notice to the Board anyways.

If you are a local physician, then you probably have privileges at CHOMP. Follow up your duty and demand that the medical staff remove Bergstrom.

Just listen to yourself. Hear the arrogance and self-righteouness. No sane person thinks that Bergstrom's actions are representative of other physicians, or other residents of Carmel. But, hey thanks for protecting my images, twofold.

Rather than insisting that the white coat does not come off after hours, how about not hiding behind a white coat *during* office hours?

Bergstrom deserves to lose his practice. On the other hand, you sound like a weaselly character who doesn't deserve the respect of the community either.
Sam Monterey MD

United States

#19 Jul 25, 2009
Outraged Doe 4 wrote:
<quoted text>
As I said, he prob. won't get convicted for this particular crime. But it is well established that he has had drug and alcohol problems, including at work and while on concierge call. I as a consumer won't seek out his medical services, just as I would shy away from gardeners and house-cleaners with such records.
Not to excuse anyone, but Bergstrom did his medical training when it was acceptable to toss down a couple of drinks when on duty, especially in small towns where you could be on 24/7. This cultural aspect has completely changed (rightly so) and it is now taboo to have a doctor drink anything and handle patient care. Bergstrom knows that, and his current problems are of his own making.
His main concern now, after his acquittal, should be to maintain his medical license. With that, he can at least make some money supervising blood-collection centers or as a prison doc.
But, he must have enough retirement money squirreled away after many years of practice in Carmel, no matter how much child support he was paying.
It is very sad to see a doctor throw away his life for a few short-term and ill-advised pleasures. He is a sharp physician, and trained very hard, especially to have the privilege to be trained at Mayo. He was successful in both his insurance-based practice and his concierge practice.
As a fellow doctor, I am sorry to see him go through this. He needs help, and in a way, is a patient. If his obsession with sex and drugs is so great that it affects his usual sound judgement, he needs further rehabilitation. For those of you who personally know him, it would be wise of you, if he is acquitted, to convince him to seek help from destroying his own life and the lives of others.
I actually feel sorry for him. He should find better habits than chasing pre-menopausal women at local bars or doing cocaine in his office. For those of you defending him, it would serve him better if you were to stop defending his actions blindly, admit his problems, and then offer solutions to find help for this lost doctor.
I do not think he is an evil man. He is simply misguided. Although I believe his days of practicing in Carmel are close to over, I strongly believe he has the potential to clean up his act and live a life of respect elsewhere.
Let us see what the jury decides...
Outraged Does 5

United States

#20 Jul 25, 2009
Sam Monterey MD wrote:
<quoted text>
It is very sad to see a doctor throw away his life for a few short-term and ill-advised pleasures. He is a sharp physician, and trained very hard, especially to have the privilege to be trained at Mayo. He was successful in both his insurance-based practice and his concierge practice.
As a fellow doctor, I am sorry to see him go through this. He needs help, and in a way, is a patient. If his obsession with sex and drugs is so great that it affects his usual sound judgement, he needs further rehabilitation. For those of you who personally know him, it would be wise of you, if he is acquitted, to convince him to seek help from destroying his own life and the lives of others.
I actually feel sorry for him. He should find better habits than chasing pre-menopausal women at local bars or doing cocaine in his office. For those of you defending him, it would serve him better if you were to stop defending his actions blindly, admit his problems, and then offer solutions to find help for this lost doctor.
I do not think he is an evil man. He is simply misguided. Although I believe his days of practicing in Carmel are close to over, I strongly believe he has the potential to clean up his act and live a life of respect elsewhere.
Let us see what the jury decides...
This is such a pile of crock.
Enough about Bergstrom's Mayo pedigree. He only went to med school there, didn't do any postgrad training there. As a doc, you know that the first 2 years are basic sciences where the lessons at Mayo are no different from the PapaDoc U of Southern Haiti. So 2 years of clerkship 20 years ago are enough to color his career forever? Man, maybe I should advertise my 4 years in an "East Coast school". Top-rated. Begins with H.
Dr. B didn't take insurance at his immediate pre-concierge practice.
According to one of his friends here, he has already gone thru drug rehab. As you should know, rehab programs are generally unsuccessful - a major reason why the Medical Board pulled its program this year.
So he was chasing pre-menopausal women. Would it be better if he chased post-menopausal ones instead?
I'm sure that you are a caring doc who never takes off his white coat, but you are a jackass.
Prove me wrong: do the right thing and bring this up at the next CHOMP medical staff meeting.

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