Dr. Skinner’s Fitness to Practice Hearing–a circus of shame

For those that don’t know….in June of 2005, Dr. Gordon Skinner, a private practitioner in the UK, was called before the General Medical Council to ascertain his “fitness to practice”. And why was he called before the board? Because of alleged “inappropriate clinical practice including maintaining medication for patients at dangerous levels and failures of communication with other medical practitioners.”

And might you guess what the “inappropriate” measures really concern? Namely, Skinner DARED to listen to his patient’s clinically presented thyroid SYMPTOMS, and dose by those symptoms, rather than her TSH labwork which fell in the erroneous normal range.

Further, Skinner was going to treat the patient without a referral letter from her GP, and may have failed to contact the GP. Heaven Forbid!!

The outcome of this absurb baboonery will not occur until July of 2007.

And the entire scenario makes me pause. In my inner ears echo the desperate and miserable cries of THOUSANDS of patients I have dealt with since 2002…patients who’s TSH was “normal” while their entire bodies screamed and pulsated with hypothyroid symptoms. Yet……..the medical school educated physician who’s brilliance falls to ink spots on a piece of paper pronounces his patient “normal”, figuratively pats her on her butt, and sends his patient on her ‘merry’ way with her sample box of antidepressants.


This patient site exists EXACTLY because physicians have sent MILLIONS of us on our merry way, pronouncing our thyroids “normal” because of a so-called normal TSH, in spite of the fact that we have lived miserable lives with miserable symptoms while having a “normal” TSH.

How many doctors does it take to change a lightbulb? Ten. One to change it by noting that it’s not emitting light, and nine others to declare the first doctor unfit for daring to act on clinical presentations of a lightbulb that isn’t working.

Hang tough Dr. Skinner. Because millions of thyroid patients are behind you.

22 Responses to “Dr. Skinner’s Fitness to Practice Hearing–a circus of shame”

  1. Catherine F. Clark

    This is shameful! None of us are lab values – we are human beings suffering with a disease that makes us miserable, and all the doctors do is look at a stupid test and tell us we are fine, when we damn well know we are not! When will the madness stop? Shame on those who would call up a caring physician who is treating his patients as human beings rather than lab reports and calling HIM unfit! They are the ones who are unfit!

  2. nutralady2001

    Yes, have been following this and wondered what the outcome was… July 2007????? Makes you think.

    I had great labs, suppressed TSH (0.05), Free’s well up in the range: FT3 5.2 with the upper range 5.3, FT4 19 with the upper range 23. According to my doctor my symptoms..brain fog/inability to lose weight/depression to the point of suicidal thoughts were not caused by my thyroid…hello anti-depressants/ referral to a shrink.

    Last ditch effort, tossed the synthetic T4 started on Armour….lost 11 kilos just like that, the anti-depressants are in the bin.

    When will doctors start listening to their patients? Hang in there Dr Skinner. Thyroid patients need some-one like you!!

  3. kathy bourne

    Just to say after years and years of frustration and ill halth, Dr Skinner treated me for Hypothrodism and I have never looked back.

    Keep up your good work Dr Skinner. You saved my life.


  4. Dee Buckel

    Basically this is the same thing that was said to me by my PCP a few years ago. I had been on Armour for several years and she reluctanly carried on my meds only because of that. But always wrote on lab results that I was taking TOO MUCH. Then when I took my daughter (who had a somewhat high TSH) in to her she said she couldn`t perscribe Armour for her without getting in trouble with her superiors. This is in the state of Utah and a local hmo IHC. The manufactures of the synthetic drugs are a powerful force. This control is why I never was a proponent of government controlled health care. Who are those idiots that make the rules?

  5. Thresia Smith

    I’ve been trying to get doctors to give me Armour instead of Synthroid for 7 yrs without any luck. They sure are sold on Synthroid. Since Synthroid was introduced as “the treatment” more and more women are being diagnosed with depression, chronic fatigue, and fibromalygia — hello doctors, there is a connection. I don’t understand why the doctor’s don’t go back to the old proven methods of diagnosing hypothyroidism instead of relying on the TSH which doesn’t work. I used to think doctor’s knew what they were doing but after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and get inadequate treatment I have since learned they don’t know much. I wish I could write my own prescription then I wouldn’t need them but that will never happen so I’m stuck getting treatment that doesn’t work well when I could receive quality treatment and feel much better. How can we get these doctor’s to realize that natural is always better than synethic. I bet if they had our problem, they would insist on the natural thyroid meds and would get it.

  6. Valerie Williams

    I too can say Dr Skinner quite literally saved my life. I was swollen with yellow skin, rapidly deteriorating sight, dry eyes, ultra dry mouth, extremely depressed,deafness in one ear,a tongue so swollen it filled my entire mouth; and was permanently indented from the shape of my teeth. I could stand on one side of a room and scratch my head and it would sound like someone shuffling a heap of straw it was so dry. No strength in my muscles whatsoever, excrutiating unremitting migraine, palpatations, periods all over the place, a swollen abdomen I looked seven months pregnant, goitre, dangerously slow heartbeat, pulse down to 40 beats a minute, failing memory and extreme exhaustion to the point of collapse and trips to the A&E. I was the walking dead, quite literally. I know this will sound horribly familiar to many of you. But I thank God first, and the ability to surf the internet, and find such a wonderful man right on my doorstep, in my city. God Bless Doctor Skinner. You cannot kill ideas, and the ability to think, or express beliefs, thank God for that.

  7. Ruth

    I cannot believe that the madness of burocracy has come to this, Dr Skinner helped me when my GP insisted that his piece of paper told him everything he needed to know about me. I have spent several years on gradually increasing doses of armour thyroid along with thyroxine, but have now moved to thyroxine alone as my new GP now prescribes it for me. I have still not reached a suitable dose after 7 years and they say that I had nothing wrong with me. I am ashamed of our medical practioners avoiding the issue and not following Dr Skinner’s approach of listening to their patients, there might be a hell of a lot less misdiagnosis if they did!

  8. lexa dudley

    I used to go to Dr Peatfield, you know, the doctor they hounded into to early retirement. So I wanted to see Dr Skinner.

    My local Dr is understanding, which in this day and age is a miracle in itself; but he wanted me to have an ‘expert opinion’ first. I visited the ‘expert’ who looked at me and then at the diet sheet I had brought with me.

    “There’s no booze on here”
    “No I don’t drink”
    “Oh come on now, what are you on – a bottle of whiskey a day?”

    I have to admit I was taken a back and not usually lost for words, but protested that I don’t drink, which is true.

    “How do you regulate your thyroid then?” came the condescending question
    “By taking my temperature each morning”
    “Oh one of those quack’s patients.” came the retort

    This time I found my tongue and told him, not too politely to put his head where the sun doesn’t shine. I returned to my doctor, who informed me that he had had a letter from the ‘expert’ and that it said I was morbidly obese and should go on retinal. He gave me my introduction letter to Dr Skinner and I have never looked back. Why is it that if you go to a doctor in the US and say I am depressed and feel like shit, they give you a thermometer and send you home to test it. If you prove to have a low temp they start you on Armour. In England, usually the doctor sends you home with “pick your self up and a packet of prozac.”

    We all know doctors don’t have time to spend with their patients and rely on the drug companies, but temp taking is cheap and effective. But then not a lot of profit for the government etc. Both Dr Peatfield and Dr Skinner have given a life time to helping people.. Perhaps if the rest of the hanging committee got off their rumps and went to see for themselves they might be in better position to judge.

    My undying thanks go to both these doctors to help me bearable to live with and my everyday life worth the living.

  9. Thalia

    It’s politics and money.

    The reference range used in the UK has been proved by American research to be way too wide because it is drawn from a population with a high number of undignosed thyroid sufferers who are skewing the figures. This is a self perpetuating scientific flaw. While the reference range includes undiagnosed thyroid sufferers and is depended on solely for diagnosis regardless of symptoms, no matter how severe, it will generate thyroid sufferers.

    The American research screened the reference range subjects and removed any with clinical symptoms of thyroid problems and drew a new reference range from the remainder. The reference range drawn from the screened population was much, MUCH smaller than that currently used in this country.

    The last thing the NHS wants to hear about is any research that means they have to treat a LOT more people and the last thing the GMC wants to hear about is anything that might lead to a lot of furious patients claiming compensation for being treated like s**t for years.

    Hence the witch hunt. Publicity of the issue and pushing as much solid research as we can find to back us up is our only chance.

  10. ibeji

    Heavily reminds me of the movie “Patch Adams” and his hearing/trial before the Medical Council – only so much less funny. Not only is this a witch hunt for reasons of money and not losing face, but also a religious war against heretics.

    Have you noticed the parallels between the catholic church in the middle ages (Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno spring to mind, for instance) with its dogmatism (that it can not be what must not be – the clergymen even refused to simply look through Galileo’s telescope and see for themselves, because they were so arrogantly convinced that they held the absolute truth in hands, and thus needed no verification), paralleled today by the self-righteous “church” of “scientificality” with its dogmas, e.g. the lab ranges?!

    We’re not out of the middle ages AT ALL!! It’s only modern propaganda that wants to make us think so.

    This also shows the eternal circular nature of human history, the eternal battle between the forces of preservation and innovation: Christian belief started as a revolutionary movement against the dogmas of the phariseans, then became increasingly rigid until it stopped being “alive” and became a dull and dead insitution devoid of any life and growth, obsessed with the preservation of power. Enlightenment started as a reaction to that, became science, tried to do better than the church, became the new religion of our times, the one which explains the universe and our place in it to us.

    Now science is also congealing ever more and more, scandals start to pop up about scientific fraud (a certain South Korean geneticist springs to mind, for example), very similar to the scandal of selling of indulgences by the catholic church that Martin Luther attacked so forcefully…

    I only hope that you may have liked this to be put into a larger perspective… 🙂 Best regards, ibeji

  11. PT

    “Why is it that if you go to a doctor in the US and say I am depressed and feel like shit, they give you a thermometer and send you home to test it. If you prove to have a low temp they start you on Armour. In England, usually the doctor sends you home with “pick your self up and a packet of prozac.”

    Sorry, but the pick yourself up and a packet of prozac is as much a standard treatment in the US as it is in the UK.

  12. Michael

    I do agree with the UK medical board on one account: A patient’s general practitioner should always be advised of any medications or treatments their patient is currently undergoing. The reason this is important is there could be fatal complications in drug interactions or anesthetic usage or other medical proceedings. However, this is not to say that most “doctors” would care to even look at anything a drug company representative had not showed them or do research on their own. After all, they are doctors and ‘know everything’ and you should not assault their frail psyche with your inferior but true information. Luckily, my doctor listens and cares what i have to say as well as asking me how i feel about a particular treatment or drug before prescribing it for me and does regular check ups to see if the treatment is working.

    This being said, the UK board seems to be driven by and owned by pharmaceutical companies and is willing to professionally assassinate anyone who might try to show the truth.

  13. Judy

    I spent years going through 5 different doctors and I lucked out and found a great endocrinologist that really listens to me. He bases my meds on how I feel, not just the numbers. He is not a fan of the armour thyroid, but I did ask him to try me on a T3 supplement with my levoxyl. He was willing to try it and the results were amazing! I feel like the fog has lifted and the weight is coming off.

    Ask your doctors to “try” it for 30-60 days and then if it doesn’t help say, ” I will let it go” (yeah right). T3 is fast acting and most fellow thyroid patients I’ve spoken with felt better pretty quick, so 30 days might be enough to tell if it is helping you.

    Good luck everyone! It has been 7 years of meds and adjustments (and turning down antidepressant solutions) to get to where I am. Hang in there – it can get better!

  14. Shannon

    it is a crying shame what they have done and continue to do to dr’s that are really helping their patients. my lovely doc from canada was put into forced retirement due to him treating his patients not their lab results. he gave me my life back after 14 years of mistreatment/misdiagnosis by the medical community. then i moved to the uk where they don’t know the difference between MG and MCG resulting in another 6 years of undertreatment and a diagnosis of fibromyalgia on top of the hashi’s/hypo, thank god i’ve finally found a new doc that was willing to listen and think outside the box the rest seem stuck in and perscribe me armour based on my symptoms i continue to hope and pray that the doctors that dare to think outside the box stop being villafied(sp?) and are left alone to assist their patients in returning to wellness.

  15. jenny tidman

    My husband had a high TSH (6.29) tests results going back 14 years. These were ignored as they were not high enough according to his GP. No attempt was made to ask if he was having any clinical symptoms. FOOLS THAT WE WERE WE BELIEVED THEM. He now has ADDISON’S DISEASE (severe low cortisol) this is a direct result of being Hypothyroid for so long.
    Anyone who has hypothyroid symptom’s who reads this should be very aware that Dr’s have a very low awareness if any at all of the clinical symptoms of low Thyroid. We even wrote a list of these symptom’s and were laughed at.

  16. Valeria

    I have read some of Dr Skinner’s pieces on the internet, and heard about his troubles with the General Medical Council. I wish him well. My husband has been fortunate to find a doctor in Australia resembling the good Dr Skinner. My husband has had clear symptoms of hypothyroidism for more than ten years — that’s TEN YEARS of missed diagnosis by five doctors in our home town. He was recently found to have several old hard nodules, which the present doctor said indicated that something had been going wrong for a long time. The other doctors never laid a finger on him to check the thyroid gland or any other part. As soon as he mentioned thyroid, they wrote out the blood test referral, and that was that — normal range. He is now taking natural thyroid hormone.

    I am hypo myself, and have been for many years (mostly under-treated). In contrast to the “Dr Skinners” there are “most endocrinologists”. This is one story: A certain endo had a reputation of “brilliance” among the local GPs. I was attending his clinic because I had had RAI and had become hypo again. I entered his room, and we each said hello. He turned to his computer and his very next words were, “Well, let’s have a look at your blood test results.” I replied, ” Don’t you want to know how I feel?” His answer: “No, I’m a scientist.”

    I was too flabbergasted to respond.

    This man is now Professor of Endocrinolgy at a University Medical School. He broke the cardinal rule for doctors, which is to find out what the patient is experiencing. He might be brainy, but he is not what I would call a decent doctor, medicine being an ART, not just a science.

  17. ibeji

    I’ve just read that the next chapter of this very sad story (i.e., the witch hunt culminating in the trial of Dr. Skinner, who is being accused of “heresy” by the “holy inquisition” of the GMC) has just begun yesterday:

    Skinner’s stuff has started precisely today again , sept. 3 . First part was in july . The expression “a fair trial” does not really fit , that’s the least one can say ….. !
    When the accusation needs a video link for their witnesses , they have it . When the defense needs a video link , they can’t have one . Isn’t that strange ??!! How come …. ?…


    (Source: http://intlhormonesociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=18.0)

    Whoever is closer by and has news, please keep us posted! Thank you! 🙂


  18. debbie

    Reading all I have on these pages and other thyroid websites has been so uplifting. I have felt foggy and tired and down for years, then last year found a mass lump which was a massive goiter and had it and half my thyroid removed a year ago. I feel even worse now. I struggle to get up have put on a stone. I get freezing cold or I’m sweating for hours and am so not normal!! My gp had my tsh levels and said I’m normal and maybe I’m depressed or menopausal. He didnt listen to a word I said. I’ve only just found out about doctor Skinner but on Friday have to get a referral from my GP which I don’t hold out much hope. I’m at the end of my tether and can’t believe there are so many people like me in misery just because no one listens to the patients. What a disgrace that is in this day and age. I hope Doctor Skinner with all the huge support he has, things turn out for him. It is all total madness. Good luck.

  19. Chris

    Hello Everyone, I was at Dr Skinner’s surgery last Thursday 22nd November 2007, with my wife, who is seeing Dr Skinner after being told her TSH was normal.
    She first went to see him 18 months ago with a range of symptoms that all pointed to thyroid problems.

    One doctor that she had seen in the past had made some slanderous statements about another doctor who had prescribed higher than “normal” doses of medication. He said “That’s the doctor who kills people”. (I have to add here that the doctor he was talking about was not Dr Skinner). She finally got a letter of referral and went to see Dr Skinner. I sat in on the first consultation and I have to say Dr Skinner has to be one of the nicest doctors I have ever met. He sat and listened to my wife as she told him about the past 30 years. He examined her and then he patted her on the shoulder and said “We can fix you”. This was the first time she had been given any hope at all. She was in tears and could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Before, she had been diagnosed as having Rheumatoid Arthritis even though she had no trace of rheumatoid factor in her system. She was treated for infertility. I could go on and on–the list is huge. Yet the signs were all there as plain as day if the doctors had looked for them. Her thyroid was not working, yet they ignored it time after time saying her TSH was normal. They looked for a more expensive route, and in the long run, they have cost the NHS thousands upon thousands of pounds in treatments, none of which worked.

    Yet one visit to see Doctor Skinner has changed her life–she has hope & she is starting to feel better. It’s going to be a long haul, but we know that with Doctor Skinner’s help she will get her health back.

    While I was waiting for my wife, I spoke with another of Doctor Skinner’s patients, who looked fit and full of life. He told me that five years previously he was having trouble putting one foot in front of the other. He had been retired early due to sickness and was on Invalidity Pension. I do hope that he doesn’t mind me mentioning him as he looked as if he could take on a marathon.

    Doctor Skinner has won his case. He no longer has to get his patients to sign a book to say that they agreed to him treating them. Over 1000 of his patients wrote to the GMC to defend him & others went to the hearing as witnesses.

    I will finish by saying Thank You Doctor Skinner. You are a very rare member of the medical profession in these days of corporate greed and diagnostic speed. You care for your patients.

  20. carol johnston

    My name is Carol Johnston. I can relate to all the patients with similar symptoms. I am lucky. I am now a patient of Dr Skinner. At long last I am being treated for the symptoms that I have not been treated for because of the outcome of a shoddy lab blood test. I think now I can only get better. Does anybody remember when doctors were of the same caliber as Dr Skinner and did not refer to a thick sheet or a computer? NO

  21. Paula knowlson

    Good luck Doctor Skinner. I’m coming to see you soon. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to your work and enabling us to get our health back where the NHS has failed. They should be having the hearing about them, not you.

    You are a true Star. Don’t let them get you down.

    Paula and Hollie

  22. Mr P Simpkins

    At what medical practice in the Winchester area is one able to obtain treatment as advised by Dr Skinner.

    Peter Simpkins


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