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Med school prepares to punish protest-excuse doctors

The U-W Madison School of Medicine says it will punish its doctors who handed out medical excuses for protestors at the State Capitol to give their employers. The school said it reviewed 22 doctors who were identified as providing the excuses during the February rallies against the bill to limit collective bargaining by public employee unions.

But the UW said some of the doctors singled out were found innocent - and the medical school did not say how many doctors were disciplined. The punishments range from written reprimands to losses of pay and leadership positions.

The school did not name those involved, but two UW doctors were publicly identified at the time - Lou Sanner and James Shropshire.

They and other doctors wore white lab coats on street corners as teachers and other employees lined up to get the work excuses. It happened when unionized teachers at a number of Wisconsin school districts were calling in sick to go to Madison to take part in the protests.

Sanner said at the time that the protestors had obvious signs of heavy stress. Meanwhile, two state agencies are continuing their own investigations of the doctors' actions - the Medical Examining Board and the Department of Regulation and Licensing.