On The Money: ‘Donut Doctor’ Collects Hefty State Salary

JAMESTOWN (CBS13) — A doctor at a California state prison is not allowed to treat inmates, but he’s still making nearly a quarter of a million dollars a year — and you’re paying for it.

Doctors at the state prison in jamestown treat dozens of inmates daily. But there’s one doctor here prisoners must avoid.

“Dr. Savage is not allowed to treat inmates or provide medical car,” Nancy Kincaid, the medical receiver’s spokeswoman, told CBS13.

William Savage, a prison doctor, hasn’t treated inmates for four years, but he’s still got an office there, although his nameplate has been taken off the door because his medical privileges have been suspended.

Dr. Savage is still collecting a paycheck though, making $239,000, according to state records. So what does a doctor who can’t see patients do all day?

“He was best known for passing out donuts and candy bars,” said Daryl Wein, a physician’s assistant.

Wein used to work with Savage at the Jamestown prison. Wein told CBS13 that Savage, better known as the “Donut Doctor,” was very popular with the staff, often buying them treats.

What kind of donuts? “Variety. Always a variety,” Wein said. “Candy bars sometimes. Ice cream. There was one time he even brought hamburgers.”

Wein was hired PA he says at more than $180,000, in part to backfill the duties that Dr. Savage could not perform.

“Interestingly, if he needed to order something that a physician would normally order, he would write the order but he would have to have myself or one of the other physicians or PA’s sign the order,” Wein said.

Savage can’t practice as a doctor because of a situation that prison authorities can’t discuss because of privacy statutes. All they can say is he’s being evaluated by a peer review committee to see if he’s competent to practice.

Savage is the last of 37 doctors whose skills were in question and under scrutiny by the court-appointed medical receiver. But getting rid of him is nearly impossible.

“Civil service rules require that you have to go through certain steps in order to terminate an employee,” Kinkaid said. “So we cannot terminate this doctor, but at the same time we cannot allow him to see patients.”

So Savage remains in legal limbo until the peer review committee decides his fate.

In the meantime he’ll continue to make close to a quarter of a million dollars a year and come to work at a place where he’s best known for handing out donuts.

Savage did not respond to multiple requests to be interviewed for this story.

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