My name is Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia. I am a practicing Podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. In an effort to offer my perspective on healthcare to the general public, I blog through my website, www.columbusfoot.com.
During Foot Health Awareness Month, I posted an educational blog about the use of orthotics on April 17, 2011. I referenced Ohio State University Football’s Spring training and one of the players, J.B. Shugarts’ use of orthotics for foot pain. On April 21, 2011, I was sent/issued an OSU Cease and Desist from The Ohio State University to remove my blog.
Isn’t this a David vs. Goliath situation? Solo podiatrist vs. The Ohio State University. I am disgusted that The Ohio State University Athletics Department would put forth the effort to issue a Cease & Desist to a small podiatry practice trying to educate the public about foot and ankle health. Is it okay for them to bully me, dictate what I blog about? As a blogger, am I not considered a recognized news entity? The information referenced about the player was released into the public domain by OSU themselves. Yet they asserted that somehow I was trying to benefit by using one of their players’ name. How is my blog considered advertising?
There have been several press releases over the last year regarding J.B. Shugarts’ foot pain. I thought tying that with the use of orthotics would be of interest to others; therefore providing education to the public regarding orthotics’ use in treating common foot conditions by having someone to relate to. Please note that I have never had a patient seek out my services from reading my blog. I blog to provide patient education and public awareness about foot and ankle health.
To top it off, I got a comment from none other than from that player’s father! And he insinuated the same thing. And threatened to report it to OSU! It is of course understandable that he feels he should be the only one milking his son’s name for financial gain, and he can by all means do so. But OSU Athletics and Mr. Shugarts Sr. need to be educated that blogging is neither considered advertising, nor does it lead to more patients or any other type of financial gain. The whole world references people in the public eye in their blogs. I could mention, say LeBron James, or Tom Brady , or Paris Hilton, if they had a foot problem. The idea is to educate the public and inform them what a podiatrist does and how to take care of their feet. I have NOT had a single patient to date because of reading my blog, and I doubt if I ever will. People are smarter than that. But not according to OSU Athletics.
For a multimillion dollar program to try to intimidate me like that, they should be ashamed. The Cease/Desist was sent by Chris Rogers. Several other cronies were cc’ed in the email, I presume lawyers or others in the department with too much free time on their hands…as they draw unimaginable salaries from you, the public.
In an effort to appease The Ohio State University Athletics Department, I immediately removed J.B. Shugarts’ name and picture from my blog.
Brett Shugarts sent this comment about my blog:
Re: Buckeyes’ Offensive Tackle Utilizes Foot Orthotics to Stay on his Feet and Knock Opponents off theirs!
By Bret Shugarts on 2011-04-19 14:38:01
“Since you are not my son’s Dr. and have no knowledge of what his circumstnaces are but merely trying to benefit yourself by using Ohio State Football I suggest that you delete this blog. Ther Ohio State Atletic Dept will be notified as well.”
I have also blogged about Kobe Bryant, Wendy Williams – Dancing with the Stars, Scott Podsednik and Serena Williams. Oddly enough, they haven’t issued Cease and Desist orders. Their parents aren’t accusing me of benefitting from their children’s condition.
Here’s another BLOG http://ernpolia.blogspot.com/2011/04/ohio-state-tackle-jb-shugarts-says-feet.html that has a picture of Shugarts, his condition and quotes him, “I’ll be fine,” said Shugarts, who said he spent the off-season rehabbing his feet and getting new shoe inserts to help take the pressure off his feet. “They haven’t bothered me at all this spring or this winter.”
Were they issued a Cease and Desist? Are they advertising?
A few links on google-search- Shugarts foot & Shugarts Orthotics
As I stated before, I posted my blog about orthotics on April 17th. This article below was posted by the Columbus Dispatch on the 16th.
Shugarts’ foot feels fine
Last season, a chronically sore right foot forced Shugarts to the sideline for extended periods of several games.
The bright side of the situation was that it gave Norwell some valuable playing time as a freshman, but it’s not something Shugarts wants to repeat this fall, in his senior season.
“My foot is doing great,” he said last Saturday. “I had a great winter rehab. I got some new orthotics for my shoes and really put a lot of extra time and effort into (it). I’ve been fine all spring. (The foot) hasn’t messed me up at all.”
So… why come after me? Is there more to this than meets the eye? Maybe. I strongly believe this warrants an investigation by the media. Should The Ohio State University be able to control what I blog about? Especially when all the other sources above have done the same thing with apparently no threats issued to them?
Best regards,Animesh (Andy) Bhatia, D.P.M., C.W.S. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery 117 Lazelle Rd East Columbus, Ohio 43235 614-885-FEET (3338) www.columbusfoot.com email@example.com