Monday, October 20, 2008

Fred Quarnstrom - How NOT to Resign from a State Dental Board

Flap missed this report when it first came out during the summer but is happy to report it now. The FLAP involves Seattle dentist, Fred Quarnstrom, who has resigned (or was NOT reappointed) to the Washington Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC).


Fred Quarnstrom, Seattle dentist, Las Vegas ADA Convention, October 2006. Photo by Flap

This has become a classic case study in how to not serve the public in a state professional regulatory board. Here is Dr. Quarnstrom's resignation letter:


When it was apparent that Quarnstrom was NOT going to reappointed to another term on the DQAC, he unfairly and unprofessionally attacks the same board and colleagues over previously decided disciplinary cases. This is without regard to the dentists who were previously adjudicated in which Quarnstrom apparently did not agree with the DQAC board's findings. A piece about Quarnstrom's moans found a sympathetic airing here.

At least three patients have died after dental procedures in the last three years in Washington, and critics say some of the cases weren't examined closely enough by the state's dental disciplinary board.

The Washington Dental Quality Assurance Commission found no wrongdoing in all three cases.

"When it comes to death cases, the board sure doesn't do well," said Fred Quarnstrom, a Seattle dentist who recently resigned from the dental board. "I think they should go to a hearing. Why is it a secret?"

The handling of the three known cases raises questions about the consistency and thoroughness of the state's review process, Quarnstrom said.

So, when you are NOT going to reappointed to a public regulatory board (even though you are an Eage Scout and put up yard signs during the Governor's campaign) you go public and bash the very same board upon which you labored the previous four years. Real mature and professional Fred.

The exit questions are: Why didn't Quarnstrom go to the press and make a major Flap when he was a member of the DQAC? Or, did Fred Quarnstrom do so and was so out of the mainstream of dental education and training with pre-conceived bias that he was either ignored or marginalized?

In any case, the public is better served without Quarnstrom on the Washington Dental Quality Assurance Commission.

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  1. I am honored you saw fit to feature my resignation.

    I, in fact, did go to the press 3 years earlier over 3 other deaths. Due to this 4 day press exposure of the commission, a gag order was imposed on the Commission.

    Because I spoke out against the Commissions handling of these three deaths, it was not secret that I had the Department of Health trying to have me removed.

    I could not go to the press while on the commission, because of the gag order.

    My position has not been filled so I would still be on the commission. However, I could not be part of the cover up of the to deaths I had discovered.

    I am honored to be featured by Flap


    Fred Quarnstrom DDS
    Diplomate, American Board of Dental Anesthesiology
    Diplomate, National Board of Dental Anesthesiology
    Certified, American Association of Dental Consultants

    Author - Open Wider: Your Wallet Not Your Mouth, A consumer's guide to dentistry.

    The media found 3 additional deaths.

    go to

  2. Fred,

    Who in the Department of Health tried to have you removed from the Washington Dental Board?