October 18, 2016

Med Board Disciplines Doctor, Rejects Request To Lift Restriction On Pulmonologist

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The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday placed a Westport doctor on probation for abusing alcohol and continued a requirement that a Woodbridge pulmonologist who had sexual contact with two women during medical exams have a chaperone present when examining female patients.

The board unanimously rejected a request from the pulmonologist, Dr. Sushil Gupta, that the chaperone requirement be dropped. His lawyer, James Biondo of Stamford, wrote to the board that the restriction was keeping Gupta from gaining privileges at a hospital. Biondo wrote that Gupta will never stop using a chaperone even if the restriction is lifted because Gupta “will forever be at risk for a predatory patient given his history.”

At the meeting, Biondo said Yale New Haven Hospital and Griffin Hospital have rejected Gupta’s request for privileges, creating a hardship when Gupta’s patients are hospitalized.

Over the objections of state Department of Public Health lawyers, the board reinstated Gupta’s medical license in 2013 and placed it on probation for one year.

The board had found in 2006 that the testimony of the two women was credible when they described him massaging their breasts during a pulmonary exam. One of them said he also pulled down her pants, touched her pubic area and said she was “hot,” state records show.

Gupta was arrested and a jury found him guilty of two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault in 2005, records show. He appealed the verdict, and the state Appellate Court set aside the conviction and ordered a new trial. In 2010, the state Supreme Court agreed, upholding the reversal of the conviction.

That year, a judge granted Gupta accelerated rehabilitation, a special form of probation.

In 2012, Gupta completed the probation and the criminal charges were dropped, records show.

On Tuesday, DPH Principal Attorney Matthew Antonetti argued against lifting the chaperone requirement.

“In 2003, he showed awful judgment,” Antonetti said of Gupta. “The state has a right to be concerned about this physician’s judgment.”

On Tuesday, the board reinstated the medical license of Dr. David S. Parnas, a family medicine physician from Westport, but imposed a four-year probation with restrictions including random drug and alcohol tests.

In June, the board had temporarily suspended Parnas’ license, saying his heavy use of alcohol posed an immediate danger to the public. DPH records show that Parnas underwent alcohol detoxification at Norwalk Hospital in February, when he reported that he drank a pint of vodka a day for the past two years.

This is the third time this year that the medical board has disciplined Parnas. In March, it had reprimanded him and placed his license on probation for two years for his failure to appropriately prescribe narcotics to patients.

In other action Tuesday, the board approved a cease and desist order to stop an East Hartford hairdresser from using an electrosurgical unit because it determined that she was practicing medicine without a license.

State records show that Hyo Jin Kim, who owns Kim’s Hair Salon, used the device in November 2015 to remove a birthmark on a salon client. The client suffered scrapes on the skin. Once Kim learned a complaint had been filed with DPH in January, she stopped using the machine and discarded it, records show.


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