A Pittsford psychiatrist charged with fraud has changed the focus of his practice. The old sign at Muhammad Cheema's office on Sully's Trail in Pittsford is gone. It is now the home of Wave Medical Group.
"It said the Wave Medical Group, but there was no group. Just the doctor and the receptionist," said a man who had a consultation there.
On its website, Wave Medical Group offers shockwave treatments for erectile dysfunction. An ad in the paper caught the attention of a man who we are identifying only by the name "Ted." Four years ago, Ted successfully beat prostate cancer but was left with ED as a side effect.
"I saw this ad in the paper, and it sounded like a possibility," Ted said.
Ted describes an office in disarray. He said the doctor asked few questions about his medical history. "He brought in this little hand-held device he said was an ultrasound. I don't know if it was or not," said Ted. "The bottom line was that he said, 'You're a good candidate for this treatment.'"
Using this therapy for ED is controversial. We checked with a urologist, Dr. John Valvo of Rochester Regional Health.
"Most often, it involves several procedures twice a week for up to six to eight weeks," he said. The therapy is delivered via a hand-held device through the skin.
The FDA has cleared the device for use in healing wounds, but not for treating ED.
"It's not FDA-approved for this use. It's not covered by insurance. It's on a cash basis," said Dr. Valvo.
Ted said the "hard sell" came even before he paid the $200 consultation fee. Even with a discount, the treatments would cost $4,000. It would all be paid in cash.
"It seemed like it was more like they wanted to sell you on this procedure, and that's what it was all about: Getting you to sign up for it," Ted said.
It wasn't until after he left that he recognized the doctor as Muhammad Cheema, who now stands accused of billing insurance companies for work he never provided and falsifying a document to say he was board certified. The charges do not question the validity of his medical license.
Dr. Cheema's attorney is James Wolford. In a statement, Wolford said:
Dr. Cheema is properly providing medical care within the scope of his medical license and dedicated to the care of his patients. He remains steadfast in his not guilty position.
Dr. Cheema's name is not listed on the Wave Medical website. On paperwork given to patients, he uses his middle name: Dr. M. Azam Cheema. It doesn't sit right with Ted.
"Maybe this isn't the best idea in the world, to give him $4,000," Ted said.
Dr. Valvo cautions patients who are considering shockwave therapy.
"It is part of a treatment process that is best handled by a urologist," he said.