Abdul El-Sayed has made his doctor credentials the focal point of his campaign for governor, offering a “Medicare for all” state-run health insurance program last week as the prescription to fix what ails the state”s economy and people.
But El-Sayed is not licensed to practice medicine in Michigan, according to state records, a fact he tends to omit from his resume in campaign literature, in which he uses the professional title of “physician.”
On the campaign trail, in published commentaries and at debates with other candidates vying to be Michigan’s next chief executive, El-Sayed, a progressive Democratic firebrand, routinely talks about being a doctor and has made strong suggestions that he has practiced medicine.
“I’m a doctor,” El-Sayed said during the May 31 bipartisan gubernatorial debate at the Mackinac Policy Conference. “I’m the only person up on this stage who has had to deliver a diagnosis — and then watch as somebody had to worry about how they were going to pay for it, let alone what the treatment was for that ailment. That should never happen in Michigan.”
El-Sayed made similar comments about diagnosing ailments in a June 6 speech in front of the Spirit of Detroit statute, where he laid out his vision of a single-payer government-run health insurance system that abolishes premiums, copays and the need for the Blue Cross Blue Shields of the world to exist.
“I’m the only person running for governor who has had to look somebody in the eye, deliver a diagnosis, and then realize that their worst day that week wasn’t the day they got their diagnosis,” El-Sayed told supporters. “It was the day they realized they didn’t have the means for payment for their care.”
Columbia University records show El-Sayed graduated in 2014 with a Medical Doctorate degree from the prestigious Ivy League school. Before med school, El-Sayed earned a doctorate degree in public health from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes scholar.
El-Sayed says he worked as a sub-intern during med school at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Allen Hospital near the Bronx, where he treated patients as part of his study of medicine.
“My job was, in effect, to be the junior doctor who took care of the patient,” El-Sayed said in a June 1 speech in Southfield, where he detailed his “Michicare” single-payer plan.
As part of their education, fourth-year medical school students go on rounds with attendant doctors in hospitals.
“But you don’t do diagnosis — you’re still a student,” said Mohammed Arsiwala, M.D., a Livonia internist and president-elect of the Michigan State Medical Society. “You’re under supervision. You can’t do patient management.”
Arsiwala, a member of the Michigan Board of Medicine, the state’s physician-licensing body, thinks El-Sayed is walking a fine line in publicly presenting his medical credentials as a candidate for governor.
“Once you finish medical school, you can call yourself a doctor,” Arsiwala said. “But if you’re not practicing medicine, I don’t think you should call yourself one. If you don’t have a license, how are you going to call yourself a physician?”
El-Sayed dismisses questions about his use of the terms doctor and physician.
“I have a degree that’s called a Medical Doctorate, which makes me a medical doctor,” El-Sayed said in an interview with Crain’s. “People are going to try and chip away, they always do. That’s the nature of politics.”
Whether it matters that the doctor never practiced medicine clinically is up for Democratic voters to decide in the Aug. 7 primary.
But one could argue El-Sayed’s campaign literature showing him wearing a doctor’s white lab coat is akin to graduating from law school and presenting yourself as an attorney — even though you never took or passed the bar exam.
Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic Party establishment’s favorite for the gubernatorial nomination, has had a license to practice law in Michigan since November 1998, according the State Bar of Michigan. But we almost never hear her say, “as an attorney” in talking about issues she champions. Ditto for Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Republican front runner for governor.
el-Sayed’s background and his self-portrayal is rife with controversy. Wasn’t eight years of slick-talking, misleading, pro-sharia, open borders, big government, welfare-state politics enough? Abdul el-Sayed -also appears to have found a loophole to become an eligible candidate. via Abdul El-Sayed clears eligibility hurdle in bid for Michigan governor
Earlier this month, the state Bureau of Elections dismissed challenges from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar and others who argued that El-Sayed’s stint living and working in New York made him ineligible to run for governor this year.
Bridge Magazine first reported in early February that prominent Democrats worried about El-Sayed’s candidacy because voting records showed he was registered to vote in New York as recently as 2015.
The Michigan Constitution requires gubernatorial candidates to be “qualified electors” of Michigan for four years preceding the election.
Even though El-Sayed registered and voted in New York while he was in medical school, he was never removed from the voting rolls in Michigan. In a ruling, Michigan Elections Director Sally Williams noted that El-Sayed was continuously registered in the state since 2003.
“Dr. El-Sayed’s voter registration record could not have been canceled unless the state received specific written confirmation that he had changed his residence for voting purposes or until two consecutive federal general elections passed without him voting in Michigan,” Williams wrote. “Neither of those necessary events occurred.”
What else is el-Sayed faking or being less than truthful about?
Recall el-Sayed’s immediate family links to Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. and his own membership in the Brotherhood-founded MSA (a group that has graduated dozens of jihadis).
Not to mention how he, and the Muslims he represent feel about non-Muslims that aren’t interested in sharia.
Democrat Abdul el-Sayed told his opponent, “you may not hate Muslims, but I’ll tell you, Muslims definitely hate you!”