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Medical Board Disciplinary Actions

May 17, 1990|Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich, Elena Brunet and Janice L. Jones / Los Angeles Times; Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

The Medical Board of California, formerly known as the Board of Medical Quality Assurance, licenses physicians and other medical professionals. The board also investigates medical complaints and issues disciplinary actions. The most serious penalties include license revocation, suspension and probation.

This week, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge accused the medical board of "abject failure" in protecting the public from incompetent or negligent physicians. (The board had failed to bring a physician to justice for nearly a decade before his conviction of the second-degree murder in the deaths of eight newborns and one fetus.) The medical board's executive director cited legal and financial constraints as limiting the board's moral mandate to look out for the security of the public.

The board can review the records of a patient who files a complaint against a doctor but lacks the legal authority to subsequently spot-check the doctor's records for patterns of poor care; it cannot obtain detailed hospital records that explain why a physician's privileges were terminated; it is not made aware that criminal charges have been filed (although this is a matter of public record) until the doctor is convicted of a crime; it is notified of civil judgments in excess of $30,000, but not of lesser amounts.

Following are the Orange County medical professionals subject to serious disciplinary actions (broken down by medical specialties), according to medical board documents. Actions taken are published three times per year; this list includes the periods between April 1, 1988, to Nov. 30, 1989.

PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS:

* Samuel H. Albert, M.D., Fountain Valley Stipulated decision. Repeated negligent acts in the care of a psychiatric patient. License revoked, stayed, seven years probation on terms and conditions, including 30 days actual suspension. Effective March 6, 1989.

* Ravinder P.S. Arora, M.D., Laguna Hills Incompetence. Failed two separate professional competency exams in his field of medicine. License revoked, stayed, five years probation on terms and conditions, including clinical training program. Effective Nov. 18, 1988.

* Ernest L. Hales, M.D., Orange Conviction of rape of a female in her home, false imprisonment, oral copulation and burglary. License revoked. Effective Nov. 17, 1988.

* Robert L. Nelson, M.D., Westminster Conviction of prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose--in connection with his affiliation with a weight-reduction clinic. License revoked, stayed, five years probation on terms and conditions. Effective Oct. 8, 1988.

* Chuong Nhu Nguyen, M.D., Santa Ana Conviction of Medi-Cal fraud. Sentence includes one year county jail and restitution. License revoked, stayed, five years probation on terms and conditions. Effective April 18, 1988.

* Roger Palmieri, M.D., Newport Beach Employed as medical director for a lay company engaged in a questionable diagnostic test called cytotoxic testing. Aided and abetted unlicensed persons to draw blood and counsel patients regarding cytotoxic test results and dietary plans. License revoked, stayed, five years probation on terms and conditions, including 60 days actual suspension. Effective Aug. 17, 1988.

* Jerry Neil Rand, M.D., Irvine Stipulated decision. Mental or physical illness as a result of substance abuse impairing ability to practice safely. Intoxicated while attending patient. License revoked, stayed, five years probation on terms and conditions, including close supervision by rehabilitation program. Effective Sept. 25, 1989.

* Albert E. Thill, M.D., Anaheim Conviction of practicing medicine while he was prohibited from practicing under the terms of a prior decision. License revoked. Effective Oct. 13, 1989.

* Julio Cesar Vega, M.D., Santa Ana Stipulated decision. Sexual misconduct with patients. Also excessive treatment, gross negligence, repeated negligence and incompetency. License revoked, 10 years probation on terms and conditions, including one year suspension. Effective Jan. 1, 1988.

* Samuel Yankasammy, M.D., Garden Grove Gross negligence related to gallstone surgery; autologous blood; stomach perforation and gastric stapling. Also, false statement in hospital re-appointment application. License revoked, stayed, seven years probation on terms and conditions. Effective Oct. 31, 1988.

* Jose Zaguirre, M.D., La Habra Engaged in lewd conduct with an 11-year-old girl, resulting in a felony conviction and state prison. License revoked. Effective Aug. 18, 1988. (Judicial review completed.)

ACUPUNCTURIST:

* Dat Vuong, A.C., Garden Grove Conviction for false Medi-Cal claims. License revoked, stayed, five years probation on terms and conditions, including 60 days suspension. Effective Aug. 2, 1989.

PODIATRIST:

* Dennis Brian Noss, D.P.M., Orange Discipline by Arizona Board. License revoked, default. Effective Aug. 31, 1988.

PSYCHOLOGISTS:

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