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Doctors disciplined after DUI convictions

October 16th, 2012 10:48 pm by Kacie Breeding

One Kingsport doctor has been disciplined for multiple unreported DUI convictions, while another has been disciplined for a single DUI arrest and conviction in which he identified himself as a doctor and reportedly informed the arresting officer he would refuse to render medical aid to him if he ever needed it.


The Tennessee Department of Health’s latest disciplinary action report, issued late Monday, states Stephen William Fry, M.D., Kingsport, and Kiran Patibandla, M.D., Kingsport, each have been disciplined for “unprofessional, dishonorable or unethical conduct.”


On the health department’s Web site, Tri-Cities Gastroenterology, 10461 Wallace Alley St., is listed as Fry’s practice address, while Patibandla’s practice address is listed as Kingsport Consultants, 130 W. Ravine Road.


In a Sept. 10 order, the Board of Medical Examiners lists Fry’s multiple convictions: DUI, March 28, 1988, Dekalb County, Ga.; aggravated DUI first offense, April 27, 2000, Washington County, Tenn.; DUI second offense, March 9, 2004, Washington County, Tenn.; and impaired driving, level 2 offense, with the presence of a child under age 16 in the vehicle cited as an aggravating factor, Sept. 17, 2009, Wilkes County, N.C.


The order notes that, on his April 18, 1996, licensure application, Fry denied having been arrested on any felony or misdemeanor other than minor traffic offenses. The order states Fry subsequently failed to notify the board of his convictions on biennial renewal forms or by any other means.


As a result, the board has placed Fry’s license on probation for at least five years, after which he will be required to petition to have the terms of his discipline lifted. He has been ordered to maintain the advocacy of the Tennessee Medical Foundation for the duration of his medical career in this state. The foundation will issue quarterly reports concerning his compliance and notify the board of any violation. Fry will be monitored for drug and alcohol abuse and subject to random drug or alcohol screens. He must also pay $6,000 in fines plus up to $1,000 in costs associated with his discipline.


In a Sept. 10 order, the Board of Medical Examiners states Patibandla’s DUI arrest occurred in Washington County, Tenn., on Nov. 12, 2010. During the traffic stop, Patibandla reportedly identified himself as a doctor and told Trooper Jonathan Street that one day he might need medical assistance from him or his co-workers, and if so, he would not render aid to him. On May 7 of this year, Patibandla was convicted of DUI, a Class A misdemeanor, and a violation of the implied consent law.


As a result of Patibandla’s actions, the board reprimanded his medical license and ordered him to undergo a Tennessee Medical Foundation-approved evaluation within 60 days and to sign and comply with a monitoring agreement if recommended thereafter.


If a monitoring agreement is recommended, the Tennessee Medical Foundation would issue quarterly reports concerning Patibandla’s compliance and notify the board of any violation. Patibandla would also be monitored for drug and alcohol abuse, subject to random drug or alcohol screens. He is also required to pay the costs associated with his discipline, up to a $2,000 maximum.


In other action, Daniel Slonaker, M.D., Erwin, voluntarily surrendered his medical license to the board and has agreed not to pursue reinstatement or new licensure in the future.


A Sept. 10 board order notes Slonaker was initially placed on probation for two years in 2003 for inappropriate prescribing practices and poor record keeping practices. From 2004 to the present, Slonaker prescribed controlled substances to multiple patients, with a review of 50 patients’ records finding insufficient documentation and prescription for durations or in amounts that could have caused patients to become dependent.


The board notes Slonaker advised he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in November 2010 and subsequently closed his practice effective Aug. 31 of this year. He must pay up to $5,000 in costs associated with his discipline.


The Board of Dentistry reprimanded the license of Michael Hamlin, D.D.S., Bristol, Tenn., and assessed a $500 fine. A board order states Hamlin permitted an unlicensed person to perform services or work that legally may be done only by individuals licensed to practice dentistry or dental hygiene or as a registered dental assistant.


The Board of Pharmacy assessed a $1,000 fine against Burgie Drug Store, in Elizabethton, for failing to provide patient counseling to five patients or their caregivers as required. The pharmacy was also ordered to submit a corrective plan of action to address the failure to counsel.


The board also assessed a $1,000 fine against the following pharmacists for failure to provide patient counseling to one or more patients or caregivers:


• Kathleen R. Anderson, D.Ph., Kingsport.


• Glen E. Hall, D.Ph., Gray.


• Stacy A. Hayton, D.Ph., Jonesborough.


• Renee E. Horton, D.Ph., Elizabethton.


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