John Hagmann’s misconduct hearing with the Virginia Board of Medicine was today. He didn’t show up. But students he had allegedly abused were there, and testified how Hagmann subjected them to invasive medical procedures, bizarre drug- and alcohol-fueled “cognition” experiments, and sexual assault.
According to reporting by Reuters, Hagmann’s medical license was suspended in March, but the techniques he used to train military personnel in battlefield medicine through his company, Deployment Medicine International (DMI), had been drawing criticism for years.
In 2005, for instance, the commander of U.S. Special Forces became so alarmed by what his aides observed during one of Hagmann’s training courses that the commander ordered all such private training halted, according to interviews and military documents reviewed by Reuters. In his order, General Bryan Brown wrote that aides witnessed “potentially hazardous physiological demonstrations” performed on U.S. troops.
Not long after, a Navy captain banned Hagmann from his base, disturbed that the doctor was giving drugs to some trainees so that other students could observe the effects. “I refused to let him into my facilities,” said Efren Saenz, a now-retired Navy officer who led a field medical training battalion at Camp Johnson from 2006 to 2009. (John Shiffman: from Reuters)
According the Virginia Board of Medicine’s report, in courses run in 2012 and 2013, Hagmann removed blood from students to induce shock and had students participate in what he called “cognition labs,” in which they were asked to drink large quantities of alcohol before attempting cognitive tests. In some of these “labs,” Hagmann subsequently dosed students with ketamine, an addictive dissociative anesthetic, and subjected some intoxicated students to penile nerve blocks.
The genital stuff gets weirder. A student who took a 2013 course reported that, after becoming intoxicated, he was invited to have a “private” late-night exam of his penis, testicles, and prostate. Hartmann claimed the exam was to look for abnormalities because the student’s course partner had found it hard to catheterize him. According to the Board of Medicine report:
..the patient later stated to a uniformed services university investigating officer that the rectal exam ‘took longer than expected and made me feel uncomfortable,” adding that Dr. Hagmann later asked if the patient “wanted to perform a digital rectal exam” on him.
Another student, once drunk, was asked to perform a pelvic trauma examination on Hagmann, including a penile and rectal exam. Hagmann also asked to examine and manipulate the student’s foreskin. Hagmann recorded the exams on videotape, allegedly for training purposes. The images have not been used for course material.
The state board unanimously revoked Hagmann’s medical license.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Image of Hagmann in 1980 from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences via Reuters