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The Oregon Medical Board has apparently suspended, retired, or surrendered 15 doctors' medical licenses so far in 2023. The action was taken after investigations alleging physicians have prescribed unwarranted painkillers, committed sexual misconduct, and have demonstrated negligence of pediatric patients.
The Statesman Journal reported that the board is generally responsible for regulating medicine across the state. The licenses under question are medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, podiatric physicians, physician assistants, and acupuncturists.
The board oversees all malpractice claims, and physicians must surrender their license if an investigation is conducted. During this time, they are not allowed to work as physicians, or prescribe medication until the investigation has concluded.
An investigation could lead to a suspended license, which could prevent a doctor from working in their usual capacity. They may also be subjected to mandatory training and courses related to the violation that they have been guilty of committing.
The report lists a number of physicians who have had their license stripped away or retire them.
Robert Harder, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, retired his license earlier this year, claiming that he would never reapply for an Oregon medical license. He has faced allegations of having sexual contact with a patient.
Another physician, Lance Brandon Jungwirth-Large, surrendered his license in April and agreed never to reapply for an Oregon medical license. He has faced three unrelated disciplinary actions after over-prescribing opioids and failing to abide by board corrective actions after agreeing to do so.
Christie Ann Horton, an internal medicine specialist, surrendered her license over the summer and agreed to not apply for an Oregon medical license for at least two years. Her practice is reportedly under investigation for failing to report to the board her misdemeanor conviction of animal cruelty in the first degree, per the report.
Horton's 11 horses and three great dane dogs were apparently taken from her in September 2022 for unsanitary living conditions, and a lack of proper care.
The Eugene Police Department reported at the time: "It was not possible to step on a clean surface as any visible surface was covered with dried feces. The side door entered an attached garage that stored broken household items, boxes, and piles of garbage. A large section of the garage floor appeared to be a designated area for the dogs to defecate. I entered the home and based on the patio, garage, and inside the home, it was an extreme hoarding situation."
The Statesman Journal lists several more physicians who have had their medical licenses taken away for reasons including sexual relationships, over-prescription of opioids, and fraud.
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