SARASOTA, Fla. -- Dr. Ronald E. Wheeler patented supplements, wrote a book and even sold himself as a “The World Renown Prostate Cancer Specialist,” according to Sarasota police.
Except he was practicing without a license, and on Thursday Sarasota Police arrested Wheeler.
“I believe what he was doing was a con. He was very good at it. He was a lousy doctor,” says Dr. Stephen Scionti, of Scionti Prostate Center.
Scionti says he first met Wheeler in 2005, and he says Wheeler does not specialize in urology and was not trained in the treatment he promoted in You Tube videos called High Intensity Ultrasound, also known as HIFU.
“Dr. Wheeler’s method of practice was unethical and incorrect,” Scionti says.
Investigator Mike Harrel says using MRI images for a cancer diagnosis is illegal. Four complaints to Florida’s Department of Health led to an investigation, and Wheeler had his license revoked in April.
“He was diagnosing patients without a biopsy ... doing it off MRI films,” Harrrell says. “He was considered below the standards of medical practice in the State of Florida by the Board of Health.”
Police say Wheeler charged patients nearly $50,000 for the HIFU treatments at his office off Main Street, and Scionti says that’s twice the normal rate.
Wheeler lives off a high rise luxury condo overlooking Sarasota Bay.
“He was using fear to convince patients they urgently required treatment some didn’t require. Some patients never had prostate cancer,” says Scionti.
According to investigators, Wheeler saw up to a dozen patients since his license was revoked three months ago. By the time of his arrest, he had lost his staffing and equipment, and he was setting up HIFU treatments in Mexico.
“We want patients who have bene wronged to come forward that’s the focus of our investigation at this point,” Harrell says
Sarasota police ask any of Wheeler’s former patients or employees to call Detective Doug Vollmer at (941) 954-7080.
There is an easy way to make sure your doctor is in good standing. Police say it takes five minutes to go to the Florida Department of Health's website, type in a doctor's or nurse's name and see if they have a license or any