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Patients speak out on behalf of RapidCare doctor under scrutiny for pain prescriptions

FARGO - Dozens of patients who see Dr. Rodney Lee, a Fargo physician and operator of five clinics, spoke in defense of the physician's actions at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Lee's medical license was temporarily suspended last week after the state's licensing board found his practice violated several accepted medical standards, including poor tracking of narcotics in the office and mistakes to Medicaid billing.

"Yes, the paperwork in his office is stacked on the floor, but I don't go there for that," said R.D. "Dick" Knutson. "I go there for help."

Lee said Tuesday he sees about 600 patients regularly who deal with pain every day, all day. Most doctors want nothing to do with these patients because of the stigma linked to those who need narcotics.

"It's my ethical duty to see them and do something for them," he said. "They have a right to pain management."

Chastity Woodbury, 32, of Fargo said she is in constant pain because of injuries sustained in several accidents.

"No other doctor understands us," she said. "Everyone looks at us as pain medication seekers, but Dr. Lee cares about us."

Lee's suspension remains in place at least until an Aug. 13 hearing by the North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners.