John Laird, MD
I would like to nominate Dr. John Laird, for which ever transformation categories you think is appropriate. I personally think that he is eligible for several of the listed categories.
Dr. Laird began his practice in 1979 in small community north of Asheville called Sandy Mush. He became interested in chelation therapy for treating cardiovascular disease. After being trained in this therapy he began utilizing it in his practice. Around 2080 he heard from the North Carolina Medical ûBoard. They stated that in their opinion chelation therapy was fraudulent. He responded to them that he would not stop it because it was helping his patients.
It was around this time that the medical board took off after Dr. George guess, a homeopathic physician. They were quite preoccupied with the Guess case. For approximately 10 years and the NCMB challenged Dr. Guess’ ability to practice medicine outside of what they defined as the acceptable standards of practice for an MD. They brought the legal challenge all the way to the North Carolina state supreme court and a 1991 Supreme Court overturn all three Lower Court decisions (which were favorable for Dr. Guess) and stated that the medical board determined that they can establish the standards of practice in North Carolina. Their ruling closed the door for any legal alternative therapies in North Carolina.
In September 2001 Dr. Laird received a notice to appear before the Board for license revocation hearing. Realizing that there was no remaining legal option that was available, Dr. Laird decided to mount a political campaign in an effort to change the medical practice act in North Carolina.
This proved to be a very challenging and extremely expensive project, which in the end mobilized citizenship throughout the state and successfully resulted in changing the medical practice act language to accommodate alternative medical therapies in North Carolina. In the process of this political campaign, Dr. Laird showed tremendous leadership and courage in facing in the medical establishment. It was because of his leader ship and determination that this effort was successful. While it turned out to be the first of three successive Medical Practice Act changes that occurred subsequently, Dr. Laird’s effort was the stimulus for all of them that came thereafter. All practitioners in North Carolina owe their freedom to practice Integrative, alternative, and functional medicine to termination and courage of Dr. Laird and the many others who he inspired.