Geier was just in the room, but why?

The plot thickens. A couple of posts ago, I told you how the kid had disgraced child chemical castrator Mark Geier as a “site preceptor.” Then the George Washington University Office of Communications decided to spam place the same comment over and over on any blog covering this on Friday evening. (Reporter’s tip: Always respond on Friday evenings, hoping the story will die over the weekend.) But our good friend over at Autism News Beat doesn’t rest. He’s gotten in touch with a person at GWU and asked some follow-up questions. The answers, like the comments on Friday, leave even more questions:

“According to the spokesperson, “This particular student’s project was not a practicum. It was part of what is called a culminating experience, which is different from a practicum. Contrary to what was posted on your blog, there was no preceptor and never is a preceptor for a culminating experience. Students completing a culminating experience are supervised by one of our faculty members, as was this student…”

According to the spokesperson, the notorious anti-vaccine activist was helping the student access data.”

So now it turns out that Geier was just in the room. But why was he in the room if not to advise or instruct the kid on how to access the database? And why was Geier identified as the site preceptor by a faculty member at GW? Here:

“An SPHHS spokesperson said the faculty member who made that claim via an email to AutismNewsBeat was in error.”

Are they really throwing the faculty member under the bus just like that? This story has legs because, again, you have a major US university being associated with a physician who’s had his license revoked in multiple states all stemming from his “treatment” of autism with Lupron, a form of chemical castration. Because it’s not just about Geier “helping the student access data.” It’s also about a member of the faculty at GW writing several papers with the Geiers and even doing some biostatistical fancy footwork to “massage” the data. There is a tangled web here, and it’s only getting more tangled.

To think that all this would have been avoided had the kid just showed the world his culminating experience project. Then again, it would have shown his work with Mark Geier, and all of this would have happened then instead of now. So I guess this all is unavoidable, especially because the Geiers tried to use that database to find out who the people in the database were, a violation of confidentiality. Did Mark Geier try to use the kid’s research to gain access to the database again? And, if so, should someone check to make sure Geier didn’t try to break the confidentiality of the database, like he tried to do back in 2004?

I told you it was convoluted.

GW School of Public Health Responds, Raises More Questions

I’ve received a comment from the GW School of Public Health Office of Communications on the post from the other day whereby a student there, one we all know as the anti-vaccine activist “kid”, had as site preceptor for his practicum experience the father of the Father and Son team of Mark and David Geier. The comment reads:

“The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services is still investigating the claims in this article.

However, your article gives the impression that Mark Geier was teaching or advising a GW student who was doing a practicum at SPHHS. In fact, Mark Geier was facilitating the use of a non-GW database the student used while doing his/her research, which was not part of a practicum. The student in question was being supervised by a faculty member at the university and the student’s contact with Mark Geier was limited mainly to accessing the information in this database.

GW School of Public Health
Office of Communications”

Here is the guidebook for the practicum at GWSPH. In it, on page 9, a site preceptor is described thus:

“Sign-in on the Practicum Website and complete the following:

o Site Application
o Site Preceptor Application
 Receive verification, password , then load project
o Project Description
• Review and approve Student’s Practicum Plan
• Engage Student in work and provide constructive feedback and guidance to Student
• Provide guidance for professional conduct
• Verify Student’s weekly contact hours
• Complete the following on the Practicum Website:
o Midpoint Evaluation Form in conjunction with the Student
o Final Site Preceptor Evaluation of Student and Practicum
• Negotiate payment/stipend with Student, if applicable
• Evaluate Student’s professional behavior
• Address Student’s reports of problems, including site safety issues and/or sexual

If Mark Geier, as the site preceptor (as identified to and by Autism News Beat) was not “teaching or advising”, then what does it mean to “review and approve Student’s Practicum Plan”, “provide constructive feedback and guidance to Student”, “provide guidance for professional conduct”, and evaluate the student? On the other hand, if “Mark Geier was (only) facilitating the use of a non-GW database”, why was Mark Geier identified to ANB as the site preceptor of the student?

Can we see the student’s research summary, paper, abstract to determine what role Mark Geier played?