On rare occasion an anomaly emerges from within my profession that makes me cringe with shame. Such is the case of Philip Markoff, a former medical student who attended my alma mater.
Craigslist is not part of my vocabulary nor on my immediate agenda. However, when I discovered that Markoff was a BU med student, I almost passed out in shock. My first concern was that his association would not tarnish the school’s reputation. My fellow alumni have a unique reputation of becoming “the first” with their achievements.
Dr. Louis Sullivan was BU’s first Secretary of Health; Dr. Charles Eastman was the first Native American physician from the Lakota tribe at Wounded Knee; and BU was the first to train female physicians at a time when it was not politically correct. The fact that Markoff allegedly meandered all over Boston and Rhode Island preying on unsuspecting women is an outrage of the highest order.
Julissa Brisman is a martyr and may she rest in eternal peace. Had her horrendous murder not come to light, Markoff might have slipped under the radar screen with a medical degree empowering him to create greater havoc. An alleged healer by day. A predator by night. The ultimate betrayal to unsuspecting patients.
No one can predict the final outcome of Markoff’s fate. He will certainly “lawyer up” with the best possible defense team that money can buy. Convicting a member of the upper echelon can be extremely tricky business. However, here’s one comforting thought that gives me profound relief: they will never call him “doctor” nor will he grace the sacred halls of Boston University again.