AZ endodontist under review for online feud with patient

By DrBicuspid Staff

August 27, 2019 -- The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners is reviewing whether a Phoenix endodontist violated professional standards and a patient's privacy by responding to a negative Yelp review, according to an article on AZFamily.com.

Gus Khalifa, DDS, of Canyon Ridge Endodontics in Phoenix, is under review by the board for publicly responding to a patient who left a review on August 12, encouraging others to "stay away" from the practice.

An anonymous tipster filed a formal complaint with the state board wondering if the heated exchange, which remains live as of publication, violated the patient's rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Following an independent investigation, the complaint could be dismissed. If not, Dr. Khalifa could be facing probation, license revocation, or be required to take continuing education classes.

The patient posted in the review that she was displeased with the treatment. She only used initials to identify herself.

"I had pain all the time after the root canal," the reviewer wrote. "[The procedure] just makes $$$ for him."

Dr. Khalifa left a lengthy response that included numerous details about the patient, including her last name, after seeing the review. Before laying out the woman's dental history dating back to 2013, the endodontist noted that the woman forfeited her right to doctor/patient confidentiality by airing her grievances in a public forum.

Dr. Khalifa proceeded to outline the patient's many dental issues to show that he wasn't the cause.

Khalifa wrote that her comments were "slanderous," "false," and an attempt to destroy his reputation. He ended his scathing response with "noncompliance, poor hygiene, and bruxism all lead to the loss of your teeth."


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