NEW: RI Doc Suspended for Marijuana Abuses, Another Terminated for Facebook Misuse

Monday, April 18, 2011


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A Pawtucket physician has been suspended from practice by the RI Board of Health (HEALTH) for violations relating to illegal substances, including marijuana, while a Westerly Hospital ER physician has been cited for unprofessional conduct and terminated at the hospital for using Facebook inappropriately regarding medical information.

Marijuana Abuses in Pawtucket

Yogesh B. Pancholi, MD, according to HEALTH documents, came to Rhode Island from New York where he was being monitored by the NY Committee for Physicians Health, beginning in March 2000. At that time, his monitoring contract responsibilities were transferred to the RI Medical Society Physician Health Committee. Doctor Pancholi was diagnosed at the Farley Center as having an impairing disorder, alcohol abuse, and marijuana abuse. He was reported to have bought "substances over the internet which were designed to provide false negative readings for substance abuse monitoring by the Physician Health Committee."

Further, Dr. Pancholi has advertised his medical marijuana business in a local magazine where he offered to teach people "how to grow marijuana and perform the evaluations which he charged between $350 and $400 (cash only) per patient.

The Director of Health has determined that the continuation of the practice of medicine by Dr. Pancholi "constitutes an immediate threat to the health, welfare, and safety of the public."

Facebook Misuse in Westerly

Alexandra Thran, MD, has had clinical privileges terminated at Westerly Hospital because she had used her Facebook account "inappropiately to communicate a few of her clinical experiences in the Hospital's Emergency Room," according the HEALTH documents.

While Dr. Thran did not use patient names and "had no intention to reveal any confidential patient information," according to HEALTH, "the nature of one person's injury was such that the patient was identified by unauthorized third parties."

Doctor Thran has since deleted her Facebook account.


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