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Idaho Medical Association files complaint against controversial doctor


A major Idaho doctor’s association has filed a complaint against a Treasure Valley physician who has repeated misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.

The Idaho Medical Association filed a complaint against Dr. Ryan Cole over his claim that he prescribed ivermectin for COVID-19 patients. Ivermectin has not been proven to effectively treat COVID-19 and doctors say it could be harmful.

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Idaho Medical Association CEO Susie Keller says while the association is disturbed by Cole’s spreading of misinformation, including dissuading people from getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the complaint is narrowly focused on the claim Cole prescribed an unproven drug.

“We believe that he has violated sections of the Idaho Medical Practice Act by providing care that fails to meet the community standard of care by promoting the sale of drugs that are not medically indicated and by engaging in conduct that constitutes an abuse or exploitation of a patient arising out of the trust and competence placed in a physician by a patient,” Keller said.

Cole was narrowly and controversially appointed to Idaho’s Central District Health Board in September. Central District Health oversees public health issues for a four-county area that includes Boise and has roughly 600,000 residents.

Cole did not respond to a request for comment.

Cole has urged people not to take the COVID-19 vaccine, calling them “fake” and “needle rape.” The medical community overwhelmingly recommends vaccinations as the best way to protect against COVID-19 and vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective.

Cole has also recommended against masking, despite research that shows wearing masks slows the spread of COVID-19.

The complaint was initially leaked to The Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative activist group that has been supportive of Cole.

The Idaho Board of Medicine licenses all doctors in Idaho. It’s unclear what repercussions Cole might face and the Board did not immediately return a request for comment.

Heath Druzin was Boise State Public Radio’s Guns & America fellow from 2018-2020, during which he focused on extremist movements, suicide prevention and gun culture.

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