Schramm was the psychiatrist who was co-author of the paper “Vaginoplasty” with James Burt, M.D. That paper and that association with Dr. James Burt, show that people in medicine can claim anything and write anything and admit anything no matter how outrageous or dangerous without worrying that someone will warn patients.
Patients trust doctors and are not aware of how often referrals from one doctor to another are just referrals to friends whether or not they are known for doing good work. Schramm and Burt were best friends. They had dinner at each other’s houses. Their children played together. They co-authored that paper together, and yet it was not until twenty years after Burt’s medical license had been revoked that Schramm’s finally was. That is because there is no one looking out for patients. No one looks into suspicious health care professionals and suspicious situations to make sure that they are not harmful to patients. If there were, it would not have taken so long for someone to do something about Schramm.
It took a step son with a 31 page complaint and photos Schramm had taken of his patients nude to get the state medical board finally to pay attention. It should be noted that neither the police nor the press would pay attention to these complaints and photos. Patients and those trying to protect patients have no one to turn to with these matters. Statistically it is a fluke that the state medical board finally paid attention. They almost never do when patients complain. It required a family member with access to the physician’s records to amass enough information to put the state medical board in the position of having to respond.
The minutes of the state medical board’s meeting about him say that Dr. Schramm is the antithesis of what the Board would expect of a physician. It stated that he had inappropriate sexual boundaries and was unethical and deceptive with patients. One physician commented that his disgusting approach to patients pushed her over the edge. What pushes patients over the edge is the state medical board’s letting people like this take a toll on patients for forty years without having the will to put in place a mechanism to discover it. If Schramm had worked for a public school his police record would have come to their attention and they would have looked into it. But since it was up to the Ohio State Medical Board to notice, no one did. Schramm still would be practicing still if not for his step son.
Even after co-authoring the paper Vaginoplasty no one checked to see what Schramm was doing with his patients. In light of what was expressed in that paper, why did no one in the medical community raise a question? Even after what happened to James Burt, why did no one look to see if Schramm’s involvement with him might indicate anything about his own practice. There is no one whose job it is to do that. Instead, members of the medical community protect each other. People like Schramm are safe from scrutiny for the most part.
Originally Schramm practiced in Chicago, near the Gold Coast, in a prestigious area. He specialized in psychoanalysis, psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. People who knew him say Schramm had a good bedside manner and looked like a physician. Although they wondered why he left a prestigious practice in Chicago to work in Dayton, Ohio. We too would like to know if something happened there to cause him to make that move.
He loved classical music and photography, carried a camera with him, talked about Ansel Adams, and kept horses, between five and seven horses at any one time. There was one night when his wife, April, fled their house half-naked on horseback and came back with the police. When the police arrived Schramm persuaded the police that his wife had a history of psychological problems and was suicidal.
Schramm met his wife when she was someone else’s wife. She was his patient. Her first husband, Mr. Kant, was in the air force at Wright Paterson Air Force Base where he was friends with Schramm. As a favor to Kant, Schramm treated Kant’s wife, April, for depression. Two years later she divorced Kant and married Schramm and took their children with her. That reeks of ethical boundaries being crossed, but if people (say, the first husband) wanted to complain, to whom would they? There is no institution that patients feel is on their side in these matters.
Then Schramm co-authored the paper “Vaginoplasty” that claims that by operating on the private parts of women they can cure wife abuse. No one looked to see what that might say about Schramm’s practice. If a stock broker wrote an article claiming he could make people rich, do you know how quickly supervisors and regulators would arrive in his office? In other industries there are people whose job it is to check to see if the professionals within it exploit or abuse clients. Top management at companies like Chase Manhattan hire outside investigators to investigate their own brokers, without those brokers having done or said anything to attract attention, to make sure the brokers are obeying Securities and Exchange regulations and to make sure that no brokers are taking unfair advantage of unsophisticated investors and to make sure the brokers are competent and giving good advice.
No one does that in medicine. It takes something unusual like a stepson with determination and access. In medicine when these things come to light, the medical community dismisses them as “one-offs” and nothing is setup to check for other problems. They write in periodicals that they are sure it is a very rare thing – a one-off. In fact, what is a one-off is for a problem health care professional to have been stopped from continuing to be a problem.
Born 1938 in Chicago
Grad med school, U of Ill 1962
License revoked in 2007