CHICAGO (CBS) — Two doctors with the same name are now part of a medical mixup that is causing a nightmare for one of them. Thursday the State of Illinois offered an apology, but Dr. Brian Yu had been trying to get the issue straightened out for weeks since the state sent him to collections for a bounced check he never wrote.
“I work in Texas, and yes, I apparently have the same name as this infectious diseases doctor in Illinois who they seem to think, or the government does, that we are interchangeable,” Yu said.
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Yu lives in eastern Texas but used to work in Illinois, so he had a medical license in Illinois, but on March 19 he learned it was “terminated due to insufficient funds,” leaving a black mark of his medical license history that future employers would be able to see.
Confused, he spent hours trying to get through to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees medical licenses in the state.
“All they have told me is that, apparently, I am a doctor who works for an infectious diseases practice in Illinois, and I wrote the bounced check,” Yu said.
There is a Dr. Brian Yu who works at a practice in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, but the $23 debt was assigned to the medical license of Dr. Brian Yu of Texas. And despite phone call after phone call he says he was told to just “pay the bill.”
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Yu says it is not about the money.
“It makes me wonder how many other people are going through this where they’re just paying this to get these people off their backs,” he said.
CBS 2 reached out to IDFPR Thursday, and they corrected the mistake. A spokesperson said they are “working ensure that this issue does not happen again.”
But Dr. Yu is upset that it also took reaching out to the chair of the Health Care Licenses Committee and a reporter to get some clarity.
“I just want everything to be fixed, you know?” he said.
CBS 2 did reach out to the “real” Brian Yu’s medical practice for comment. There was no response as of 6 p.m. Thursday.