The state Medical Examining Board fined a New London obstetrician $5,000 Tuesday for mistakenly cutting ligaments on the sides of a woman’s uterus instead of the fallopian tubes during a tubal ligation. The board also imposed a year of probation on the medical license of Dr. Jeffrey Simpson, who made the error on March 28, 2013 at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London. Simpson did not contest the findings of the medical board and signed a consent order agreeing to the penalty on Oct. 24 of this year. Simpson also agreed to hire a physician to randomly review a portion of his patient records for surgeries he performed, the consent order said.
Over the objections of the state Department of Public Health, a divided state Medical Examining Board Tuesday reinstated the medical license of a Woodbridge pulmonologist who had inappropriate sexual contact with two women during medical exams in 2004. The board voted 11-5 to reinstate the license of Dr. Sushil Gupta but also placed his license on a one-year probation. Gupta will be required to have a female chaperone present during any treatment of a female patient and will have to hire a doctor to monitor his practice. The board also ordered Gupta to have each female patient answer a questionnaire about his treatment of them,
DPH had objected to the reinstatement but asked if the license were to be reinstated, then Gupta should only be allowed to care for male patients. “We suggested adding layers of protection because we feel the risk [to the public] remains real,’’ DPH staff attorney David Tilles told the board.
Major changes are underway at the state Medical Examining Board, in an attempt to reduce long delays in disciplining doctors. The state legislature recently expanded the board from 15 to 21 members to be able to hold hearings more quickly when complaints are filed against doctors. Two board members are now involved earlier in investigations, and physicians now must respond to investigations earlier in the process, said William Gerrish, spokesman for the state Department of Public Health (DPH). Also, the DPH plans to hire a consultant by the fall to conduct a full review of the way complaints against doctors are investigated and adjudicated, Gerrish said. Most visibly, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has also installed a new chairperson on the board, replacing Anne C. Doremus, a Manchester Republican, with Kathryn Emmett, a prominent Democrat and lawyer in Stamford who worked on Malloy’s transition team in 2010.
The state Medical Examining Board imposed fines ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 on three doctors Tuesday, including $5,000 against a Greenwich neurosurgeon who operated on the wrong disc on a patient’s spine in 2011. Dr. Mark Camel, who is affiliated with Greenwich Hospital, discovered his error during spinal surgery on Oct. 27, 2011 and then operated on the correct disc. State investigators found that Camel admitted that he had written down the wrong spinal location during a pre-operative visit and neither he nor the patient noticed the error when signing consent forms, records indicated. When Camel was reviewing an MRI and preparing to close the patient, he noticed his mistake. Camel immediately reported his error and has put in place protocols to be sure such an error never happens again, records show. It was the second time in two months that the board had taken up “wrong site” incidents at Greenwich Hospital.