March 20, 2012

Medical Board Revokes Doctor’s License

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The state Medical Examining Board revoked a Cheshire doctor’s medical license Tuesday alleging that he had consensual sex twice with a drug-addicted patient, continued to prescribe her drugs after she got out of detox, wrote prescriptions in his car and at Starbucks, and sent her sexually explicit text messages.

The medical board was presented with a 25-page Memorandum of Decision that outlined the charges against Dr. Jyoji Bristol, including over-medicating a drug-addicted patient, engaging in a sexual relationship with that patient and allegations from three other female patients of inappropriate sexual conduct.  The findings were gathered over the last year from dozens of hearings involving testimony from patients, expert witnesses and dozens of exhibits.

In addition to the license revocation, the medical board reprimanded Bristol for his actions with the other three female patients and fined him $3,000.

“We do feel the penalties could well be larger than they are,”  said David Tilles, the state Department of Public Health attorney.  “For each of these three patients, there were findings of abuse and misconduct,” and the “sexually inappropriate contact” was worth more than a reprimand and a $1,000 civil penalty.

“Four women testified,” Tilles said, and although the details differed, they were consistent in the way “they all described grossly inappropriate conduct.”

Bristol’s attorney said his client denied the allegations and disputed the credibility of the four patients who testified against him, saying some had criminal or psychiatric histories. The memorandum presented to the medical board left out defense witnesses’ testimony, said Lawrence Adler, the doctor’s attorney.

Calling the revoking of the license “excessive,” Adler argued for alternative punishments.  But Tilles countered, “His own records undercut many of his own defenses.”

The memorandum listed numerous allegations of Bristol’s failures to document clinical justification for medication, to maintain prescriptions in charts, to monitor compliance and patients’ response to medications, failure to make appropriate referrals for specialized consultation and inadequate and inappropriate examinations.

The memorandum described how Bristol began treating a 25-year-old patient for severe back injury in the summer of 2008, knowing that she had a prior history addiction to pain killers.  Her addiction was in the medical history the patient showed him when she first went to the Right Now Urgent Care in Southington for treatment, the memorandum said.

Over the year that Bristol treated the woman, referred to as J.M., the memorandum says, he “prescribed controlled substances to manage J.M.’s pain without documenting adequate clinical justification for the medication on her chart.”

The woman testified that Bristol “performed brief examinations in his car when he would pick her up at home, which included listening to her heart and checking her pubic area.”

According to testimony, the woman’s mother said she told Bristol that her daughter was falling asleep while eating, losing weight, failing to take care of herself or her children, had dark circles under her eyes, and exhibited other signs of drug addiction.

The patient eventually had her children taken away from her because of her addiction, the memorandum said. The patient’s mother asked Bristol to stop or reduce the prescriptions, which he didn’t do, though she was slurring her words and nodding off in his presence, the memorandum said.

Also, Bristol sent her more than 235 text messages, some of which were sexually explicit, and called her cell phone 284 times, the evidence showed.  The woman went into rehabilitation and detoxification facilities three times over the course of the year and each time Bristol wrote her prescriptions for Oxytocin upon her release, according to the documents presented.

Other testimony presented to the board included another female patient who said that when she went to the Right Now Urgent Care complaining of back pain, Bristol “visually examined her groin and manually examined or touched her breasts, buttocks and inner thighs.’’

A third female patient, who visited the urgent care facility complaining of a urinary tract infection, said Bristol used profanity while discussing her diagnosis. He then began a physical exam, against the patient’s protest, by lifting her shirt and placing his stethoscope under her shirt, the memorandum said.

Bristol, who obtained a license to practice medicine in Connecticut in March of 2008, had his medical license summarily suspended in 2009.

Also, the Oregon Medical Board fined Bristol $10,000 and denied him a medical license in 2010 because he failed to disclose a criminal arrest and other disciplinary action taken against him as an U.S. Air Force doctor in 2006. A 1998 graduate of Spartan Health Sciences University on St. Lucia, Bristol had been charged with domestic battery and convicted in military court of assault and of disobeying a lawful order and being absent without leave. The Air Force dismissed him.

In other business, the medical board postponed action against Dr. Michael Waldman. According to documents presented, Waldman punctured a 74-year-old patient’s spleen and failed to tell the patient, and monitor his condition following surgery.  The patient was sent home with inadequate discharge instructions, and died a few days later.  Waldman, who faces a board reprimand, took full responsibility and worked to change procedures at New Milford Hospital where he worked at the time.

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