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Medical malpractice crosses state lines

In the event that a physician or medical professional makes serious, avoidable mistakes that compromise a patient's health and/or well-being, disciplinary actions are often taken to hold the individual accountable. Unfortunately, however, there are incidents where physicians with a history of medical malpractice claims against them not only continue to practice medicine but also take on roles of authority in the medical community. The professional history, present and future of one medical surgeon with New York ties are under increased scrutiny as the VA medical system continues to be investigated.

In 2003, the surgeon in question treated a patient at a Florida hospital for constipation and severe abdominal pain. Prior to operating on the patient, the surgeon apparently failed to recognize that the individual had a distended colon and a tear in their large intestine. After being in the hospital for four days, the patient reportedly died.

The incident resulted in the surgeon facing several disciplinary measures in Florida, including monetary fines and community service. And because he was also licensed to practice medicine in New York, the surgeon faced allegations of misconduct in this state as well. Ultimately, though, the surgeon resolved the issue by forfeiting his right to practice medicine in New York. There is also evidence to suggest Medicaid has issued complaints against the doctor.

Given the medical surgeon’s professional history, questions and concerns are being raised over the fact that he now serves as the senior executive physician for the VA Healthcare System in the Miami area. According to the VA, the surgeon’s previous medical malpractice charges did not factor into his hiring. In addition to performing operations and maintaining a patient load, he oversees multiple area clinics and one hospital.

Source: Miami Herald, “Chief at Miami VA surrendered N.Y. medical license,” Daniel Chang, June 6, 2014

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