The state Medical Examining Board voted Tuesday to discipline two physicians including issuing a $7,500 fine and one-year probation to a Weston doctor who prescribed opioids to six people without discussing pain management treatment goals or informing the patients of the risks in taking the drugs.
The board also agreed to discipline a physician assistant who had told a patient suffering from a pulmonary blood clot to “lose weight.”
While working at the PCA Pain Care Center in Wallingford from 2014–2016, Dr. David Marks, of Weston, primarily prescribed opioids and no other pain care treatment to six people, according to a consent order. Marks failed to obtain patient histories pertaining to their injuries or previous pain management treatment, failed to discuss treatment goals, or warn people of the risks associated with opioids, the consent order said.
He also failed to consult the state’s Prescription Monitoring and Reporting System to see if the patients were receiving prescriptions from other practitioners and failed to assess the patients’ mental status for depression or suicidality or document his findings, the consent order he signed said.
The board fined Marks $7,500 and placed him probation for one year during which he’ll be required to have supervision when prescribing Schedule II or III controlled substances.
A Middletown Physician Assistant was issued a $2,500 fine after a patient died from an undiagnosed pulmonary embolism following instructions to “lose weight” in September of 2012, according to a consent order.
Cheryl McDonald, a Physician Assistant with ProHealth Physicians – Middlesex Family Physicians, failed to compare a previous electrocardiogram and consult with her supervising physician before telling the patient to lose weight and go to the emergency room if their symptoms worsened, the order said.
The patient died three days later, documents said. McDonald has since completed courses in documentation, cardiology and cardiovascular disease, the order said.
Dr. Sundaramurthy Balachandran of Putnam was fined $1,000 after he delegated the administration of vaccines to an unlicensed medical student in his practice at the New England Family Medical Center and Walk-in Clinic, according to a consent order.
Balachandran improperly allowed the unlicensed medical student to administer vaccines in April 2019 after the practice’s LPN left, documents said. He agreed to comply with the requirement that only a licensed staff member could administer vaccines, a consent order said.