An unlicensed physician who calls himself “Dr. T” is illegally removing moles and providing other improper services at a Minneapolis clinic and dozens of other sites around the country, according to a lawsuit that two state agencies have filed.
The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice is asking a Hennepin County judge to bar Adiel Tel-Oren from engaging in the unauthorized practice of medicine. On his website, Tel-Oren says that he and the doctors he has trained have removed growths and blemishes from more than 100,000 people over the past 28 years.
“There is no way they are going to win in court,” Tel-Oren said in a telephone interview this week. “I have never practiced medicine without a license. That is totally not true. My only crime is that I have not updated my ancient website in a long time.”
Tel-Oren voluntarily surrendered his chiropractic license in 2009 after state regulators concluded he was improperly having a sexual relationship with a client and violating other rules involving patient care. Tel-Oren did not challenge most of the findings, but he said he did not start the sexual relationship until he “terminated the doctor-patient relationship in the presence of his office manager,” state records show. The Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners, which disciplined Tel-Oren for misconduct, also is suing him for practicing without a valid license.
Tel-Oren, who now lives in Florida, said he returns to Minnesota frequently to work at his clinic on Lyndale Avenue, Ecopolitan. In recent months, he also has provided skin treatments in California, New York and Ohio.
Tel-Oren claims he obtained his medical diploma from Russia’s prestigious Pirogov National Research Medical University, but state regulators said he has never been licensed to practice medicine in Minnesota. In the lawsuit, the Medical Board said Tel-Oren is not allowed to advertise himself as a medical doctor unless he has the proper license.
Tel-Oren acknowledged he is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States. He said his medical license allows him to work only in Russia. But he said he should be allowed to call himself Dr. T because he has earned two advanced degrees, including a medical degree.
“Why shouldn’t I be Dr. T?” he said. “I got those degrees from reputable, high-quality institutions. I am entitled to keep my educational diplomas as long as I am not deceiving the public.”
On his website, Tel-Oren says he uses a “nonsurgical” method to remove moles, skin tags and other skin lesions. He said he applies a liquid “acetic compound” that will cause the unwanted growth to fall off within 12 to 15 days. “You will feel a slight burning sensation — like a mosquito bite,” Tel-Oren says on his website.
Tel-Oren says he practices in more than 35 cities across the U.S., as well as 25 locations in Israel. However, the Israeli Health Ministry issued a warning in 2014, saying Tel-Oren was “masquerading as a physician” and using unapproved materials that “could endanger public health.”
“They closed that file a year ago and I am now free to do whatever I want in alternative medicine,” Tel-Oren said.
Tel-Oren said he is licensed as a nutritionist in Minnesota, and he said that his skin treatments could be considered a form of nutritional therapy because his liquid compound eliminates nutrients from skin cells, causing unwanted growths to die.
“Technically, you could say it is nutritional,” he said.
Tel-Oren said he has worked with about 30 licensed physicians around the country, training them on skin-removal procedures.
“The medical doctor is doing the procedure,” Tel-Oren said. “Sometimes, if they are unsure of something, I will show them — I will demonstrate the process. It is not like I am doing it myself.”
The average cost of a single growth removal is $125 to $175, with prices increasing to $550 to $650 for 10 “average lesions,” according to his website. Tel-Oren warns patients they will have to pay for the services themselves because his company “does NOT file insurance claims for you, nor can we communicate with an insurance company on your behalf.”
In the disciplinary proceeding, Tel-Oren acknowledged that he provided chiropractic services to at least 11 people without first diagnosing their condition or documenting their need for services, but he claimed those patients were primarily receiving nutritional help. One of those patients came to him for help with a serious mental condition known as schizoaffective disorder. Tel-Oren denied treating the disorder but acknowledged ordering laboratory tests and providing nutritional therapy.
“I believe that your overall health has been enhanced without compromising your mental integrity,” Tel-Oren said to the patient in a 2006 e-mail, which was part of the consent order. Later that year, the patient was hospitalized after his mental health declined, regulators noted.
On his website, Tel-Oren said he gave up his license “to terminate a tiring, expensive, time-consuming 3-year-long harassment” by Minnesota regulators, whom he accused of bowing to “political pressure” from an unnamed member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Tel-Oren says on his website that he treated the legislator’s adult son, who was suffering from mental problems, and that his mother objected to Tel-Oren’s “natural approach.”