Nevada Medical Board a Subject of Scrutiny


As reported yesterday, the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners disciplined a record number of doctors at its last meeting.

The Board has come under scrutiny in recent years for a variety of practices. In fact, according to a Reno Gazette Journal article dated December 12, 2007, our Nevada Board is one of the worst in the United States for disciplining doctors.

A Reno Gazette Journal inquiry found that the Board misrepresented information regarding the discipline of doctors, ignored a number of complaints against doctors with other malpractice instances, and did not hold Nevada doctors to high standards.

A watchdog group founded by Ralph Nader, Public Citizen, ranked Nevada's Board at 47th in the nation for doctor disciplinary action, down from its ranking of 40th in 2002.

As reported yesterday, the Board recently disciplined seven licensed doctors and a physician's assistant at a quarterly meeting, which was the largest number of disciplinary actions at one meeting in the last several years. It also has an additional 600 cases pending review.

All eight of the medical professionals disciplined were from Southern Nevada, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the state's doctors.

According to the Reno Gazette Journal Article, the professionals disciplined at the meeting include:

Gregory Bryan, M.D.: Bryan was disciplined for administering a drug in a way not authorized by law, the board said. Bryan also failed to properly supervise a physician assistant who was allowed to administer the drug, despite knowledge that the drug wasn't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Bryan has been placed on 12-month probation and isn't allowed to inject, prescribe or personally use any cosmetic substances. Bryan also needs to complete a continuing medical education on charting and ethics and must pay a $1,000 fine. Failure to meet any probation terms will result in a 30-day license suspension.

Michael Sullivan, physician assistant: The terms of Sullivan's discipline basically is similar to Bryan's, except his fine is $500.

Gilles Desmaires, M.D.: Voluntarily surrendered his license while under investigation by the board.

David Linden, M.D.: Violated Nevada statutes for having an Oklahoma license that had been suspended, modified or limited. Linden's license has been suspended for 120 days. The suspension will be stayed under the condition that Linden be placed on probation for two years.

Stuart Steele, M.D.: Steele had his license revoked after being found guilty of unlawful possession and distribution of a controlled substance and also conspiring to possess and distribute controlled substances.

Theodore Thorp, M.D.: Thorp received public reprimands for two separate cases. The first involved malpractice for failing to use reasonable care, skill or knowledge in treating a patient. The second case involved failure to keep complete medical records and lack of proper informed consent. Thorp also was ordered to complete an in-resident Internal Medicine Board Review Course and continuing education on medical record keeping.

Sidney Van Assche, M.D.: Van Assche was found in violation of Nevada statutes concerning the inability to practice medicine because of illness, a mental or physical condition, or the use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics or any other substance. The board ordered Van Assche's license revoked, with the revocation stayed for five years upon compliance with probation conditions.

Jozsef Zority, M.D.: Received a public reprimand and was fined $5,000 for failure to keep accurate and complete medical records.