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August 27, 1982

Certified Pink

JAMA. 1982;248(8):936. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330080022021

The mailman became a hated figure to the physician on probation because he brought the certified mail with the familiar pink slip. "CERTIFIED" was written at least three times in red ink on each piece. As the doctor signed each succeeding pink slip, acknowledging receipt of these documents, he also acknowledged his crime and writhed in pain.

When his guilty plea appeared in the newspaper, two hospitals immediately terminated his privileges. Certified letters started arriving shortly thereafter.

When his license was revoked, certified mail announced the news. When the local medical society struck him from membership and two other hospitals removed him from the staff, more certified letters arrived.

His specialty organization hurled the next darts as his colleagues forced his resignation from the local, state, and national chapters.

The Drug Enforcement Administration next revoked his controlled substances certificate; another certified letter was on his doorstep.

Two more states revoked