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August 2018 - Dancing With the Scars

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<p><em>by Richard W. Millar, Jr.</em></p>

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<p>I don&rsquo;t know about you, but I find that as I grow older, there seems to be an exponential increase in the things or behaviors I don&rsquo;t understand. Social media has tapped into an apparently burgeoning need of a surprising number of people to become, at least temporal, celebrities.</p>

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<p>In my view, the lives of many celebrities are not worth celebrating, to use the same root word. A walk amongst the supermarket check stands bears that out. Yet, social media attracts those whose need for attention is as boundless as it is never-ending. Take the Kardashians. Please.</p>

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<p>A flame attracts moths, Karaoke attracts bad singers, and YouTube . . . well you get my drift.</p>

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<p>For example, a Dr. Windell Boutte (pronounced boo-tay) has posted some twenty YouTube videos of her dancing and singing that have received widespread publicity which, I assume, was her intention. I am not a music or dancing critic, so I cannot evaluate her talents in that regard, but I can say she was, at a minimum, energetic. So were members of her staff who joined her in musical celebration.</p>

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<p>The attention she received was certainly predictable, at least by anyone other than Dr. Boutte. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, she has settled five malpractice cases in the last six months, and four more are pending.</p>

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<p>In case you are wondering how singing and dancing could possibly draw malpractice suits, it was not the quality of her voice or the rhythm of her movements. It was the fact she was a dermatologist who billed herself as the number one cosmetic surgeon in the Southeast, and the videos were performed, if that&rsquo;s the right word, during surgery. In one, Dr. Boutte, a dermatologist, is dancing sans mask with surgical instruments in her hands, singing and cutting exposed portions of a patient with her assistants in scrubs acting as, what I suppose you would call, backup dancers. In one video, she raps to the song aptly titled &ldquo;Cut It,&rdquo; while slicing her patient, and in others performs with improvised lyrics to &ldquo;Brick House,&rdquo; &ldquo;Bad and Boujee,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Formation,&rdquo; all of which, I confess, I am unfamiliar with. And, no, I don&rsquo;t know if she paid royalties.</p>

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<p>Dr. Boutte did not have hospital privileges, her office was not a licensed surgery center, and she didn&rsquo;t use general anesthesia.</p>

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<p>She is quoted as saying that millennials love the fact that she is called &ldquo;the dancing doctor,&rdquo; and her social media &ldquo;follows&rdquo; have soared, and as a result she has received a &ldquo;plethora&rdquo; of new patients. I don&rsquo;t know which is more troublesome: the fact that she said it or that it is probably true.</p>

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<p>In many instances, according to the good doctor, her patients chose the tunes for the video clips and that she also used the videos as educational tools. Some of those patients have now changed their tunes, so to speak, and have become plaintiffs.</p>

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<p>As we all know, the music will eventually stop, and a few days before this was written, the Georgia State Board of Medical Examiners suspended Dr. Boutte and reported four malpractice settlement amounts: $95,000, $900,000, $1,000,000, and $990,000.</p>

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<p>As I have researched and written this story, I have come to change my initial resistance to the whole music video/operation idea. I am going to ask my &ldquo;you know what&rdquo; doctor when he does my &ldquo;you know what&rdquo; examination to video it while playing Bing Crosby&rsquo;s version of &ldquo;Moon over Miami.&rdquo;</p>

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<p><span style="color: #808080;"><em><strong>Richard W. Millar, Jr.</strong> is Of Counsel with the firm of Friedman Stroffe &amp; Gerard in Irvine. He can be reached at <strong><a href="mailto:rmillar@fsglawyers.com">rmillar@fsglawyers.com</a></strong>.</em></span></p>

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