Report: California Fails to Discipline Hundreds of Dangerous Doctors
The National Practitioner Data Bank determined that 710 California physicians who had their privileges restricted by a medical facility between 1990 and 2009, were never disciplined by the state board.
102 of those doctors were considered an “immediate threat to health or safety of patients.” But as of December 2009, not one had been disciplined by the state board.
What is the Mission of the Medical Board of California?
“The mission of the Medical Board of California is to protect health care consumers through the proper licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons . . . .”
Really? Do you honestly believe that’s their mission? You might want to take a peek into our files below before you answer. Here is a random listing of 10 wacko doctors that the California State Medical Board could have removed from the Twilight Zone of ‘healthcare’ after repeated patient endangerment – but were in no hurry to do so. After all, state medical boards are operated by, well, doctors.
Dr. Brian West – An Orange County cosmetic surgeon. Complaints against West started 15 years ago, by 6 patients who reported West left them permanently deformed.
None of them knew that West had a substance abuse problem, nor that he had entered the Medical Board’s secret addiction monitoring program. In 2005, he was placed on 5 years probation after two convictions for DUI, as well as “multiple acts of dishonesty” while a participant in the addiction monitoring program.
Investigators learned he ordered his staff to falsify Alcoholics Anonymous attendence sheets to reflect he was present at meetings. In 2009 he was found guilty of disfiguring a former breast cancer patient after performing a surgery she had not agreed to; he lied to an investigator about being on his way to the hospital when he got into a drunk driving collision. West’s case helped spur the closure of the Medical Board’s dangerous drug and alcohol diversion program, which allowed doctors with substance abuse problems to hide that information from their patients. The Medical Board finally revoked his license in May 2009.
Dr. Van Vu – A pain management specialist at the California Pain Center of Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach. A full 17 of Vu’s patients died of overdoses connected to medicine he prescribed — the most deaths connected to any of the 71 Southern California known physicians whose patients suffered 3 or more prescription drug overdose deaths.
The Medical Board began an investigation only after an LA Times article exposed Vu. Vu was put on 5 years probation and ordered to not supervise physician assistants. http://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-van-vu-y6ld8/background-check#BackgroundBackgroundCheck_anchor
Dr. Andrew Rutland – An ob/gyn in Anaheim. Rutland had his license revoked in 2002 after the death of an infant during childbirth; the death of a second infant, and numerous other allegations that led to 15 civil lawsuits. The Medical Board reinstated Rutland’s license in 2007. Rutland was forced to surrender his license again in 2011 after he killed another patient – a 30-year-old he overdosed during anesthesia.
Dr. Daryl Westerback – A Thousand Oaks psychiatrist. Westerback was arrested twice for driving under the influence of prescription drugs, and police now believe he has been routinely overprescribing narcotics. He is connected with at least one overdose-related death, and is suspected of treating patients while under the influence of opiates. No action was taken against Westerback prior to the criminal investigation.
Dr. Aria Omar Sabit – Neurosurgeon. 20 lawsuits were filed against Sabit in a mere year and one-half that he worked in Ventura County, referring to misplaced screws in spinal fusions; post-surgical infections and a botched brain surgery.
Victims say Sabit made so many mistakes in such a short period of time that Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura and Ventura County Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group should have intervened long before he was fired in December 2010. Attorneys for the injured patients call Sabit “The Butcher.” Community Memorial officials said they asked the Medical Board of California to investigate. Sabit did what most errant MDs do – he moved, to Michigan and started over.
Dr. Shane Sheibani – Cosmetic surgeon. Sheibani drew dozens of complaints and lawsuits from patients who were left disfigured, with open wounds and constant pain. He was placed on probation by the Medical Board in 2009, but continued to practice and more patients were harmed.
His license was finally suspended in August 2012. He now calls himself a “psycho-spiritual coach,” yet told an undercover news reporter he can still perform surgery.
Dr. Craig Alan Bittner – Was a Beverly Hills radiologist who decided that there was far more money in Beverly Hills liposuction.
He allowed his girlfriend to perform surgical procedures knowing she had no formal training. He then bragged that he used patients’ fat as “lipo-fuel” for an SUV. Patients started complaining as early as 2008, and at least nine women were left disfigured. Bittner did not surrender his license until 2011. In criminal prosecution, Bittner was allowed to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor. His five-year sentence was reduced to 24 months. He has now changed his name to “Smith” and attends law school.
Dr. Efrain Gonzalez – A gynecologist performing cosmetic surgery with his wife, Doctor Yessennia Candelaria, a pediatrician. That’s like hiring a plumber to build your house.
Multiple complaints to the Medical Board showed at least 15 patients with failed cosmetic surgeries by Gonzalez left them deformed and, in one case, paralyzed.18 months later, after Gonzalez was arrested on 31 felonies – his license was suspended, in March 2013. Candelaria’s license was suspended in May 2013, after she was charged with 15 felonies and a DEA warrant alleging she was a drug addict. In one case, she allegedly administered anesthesia to a patient “…while simultaneously administering the drug to herself via an additional intravenous line. According to a medical assistant assisting in the procedure, Doctor Candelaria lost consciousness in the operating room.”
Dr. Carlos Estiandan – Owned 3 pain clinics in Los Angeles. According to court records, Estiandan prescribed powerful painkillers to addicts who had no medical need; conducted scam examinations and was a major supplier for local drug dealers.
He wrote more prescriptions than the entire staff of some hospitals and took in more than $1,000,000 a year. In spite of investigations by the Drug Enforcement Administration and LA County Sheriff’s Department, the Medical Board did not stop him from prescribing until four years after opening its own investigation. In the meantime, 8 patients died of overdoses.
Dr. Israel Chambi – An Orange County neurosurgeon. Western Medical Center in Santa Ana removed Chambi as head of neurosurgery in 2003 when they learned this idiot had 36 malpractice lawsuits against him.
His department brought in nearly $40,000,000 a year for Western Medical Center – all as patients were severely disfigured; suffered devastating brain or nerve damage, or in one case, narrowly evaded invasive brain surgery by Chambi when other doctors said none was necessary. Chambi had previously lost his position as a medical professor at UCI Medical Center when colleagues reported he was performing unnecessary operations. Of the 36 malpractice suits, 10 won settlements totaling $3 million. The Medical Board eventually investigated but no action was taken. Today Chambi operates his own brain, spine and nerve practice.
This review, then, demonstrates the overdue and urgent need for action by California lawmakers to replace a Medical Board that allows bad doctors to continue injuring and killing citizens.
Why not contact these people and ask them how many tortured patients are enough?
California State Medical Board – Key Players
|David Serrano Sewell, J.D.– President||Attorney|
|Dev GnanaDev, M.D. – Vice President||Physician|
|Denise Pines– Secretary||Public|
|Michelle Anne Bholat M.D.||Physician|
|Michael Bishop, M.D.||Physician|
|Randy W. Hawkins, M.D.||Physician|
|Howard R. Krauss, M.D.||Physician|
|Sharon Levine, M.D.||Physician|
|Ronald H. Lewis, M.D.||Physician|
|Gerrie Schipske, R.N.P., J.D.||Public|
|Jamie Wright, Esquire||Public|
|Felix C. Yip, M.D.||Physician|