Health

Monday, Mar 10 2014 04:29 PM

Local doctor ordered to stop practicing

BY COURTENAY EDELHART Californian staff writer cedelhart@bakersfield.com

The Medical Board of California has issued a cease practice order to Bakersfield doctor Savita P. Shertukde, who until a few years ago was a contract pathologist at Kern Medical Center.

Shertukde is accused of failing to follow through on the terms of five years of probation imposed last year for repeatedly misinterpreting pathology slides, according to the order.

Because the board has no documentation showing that Shertukde completed a mandatory clinical training program, she is barred from practicing medicine pending the outcome of a future hearing on whether to revoke her license.

The hearing is not yet scheduled.

Reached by phone Monday, Shertukde insisted that she had done the extra training and had no knowledge of state sanctions beyond her original probation.

"I haven't received any notice of a cease practice order," Shertukde said.

The medical board filed an accusation against Shertukde in April 2011 claiming that she "committed repeated acts of negligence by failing to properly read pathology slides."

Shertukde was put on administrative leave from KMC in October 2008 after an internal review of 30 cases that "represented substandard microscopic examinations," according to the accusation.

In some cases, she had said patients were sicker than they actually were. In others, she missed signs of illness.

Shertukde was allowed to return to work in late 2008 but in February 2009, medical staff voted to deny her application for reappointment, the accusation said.

The term of Shertukde's employment at KMC was supposed to have been from Oct. 5, 2004 through Oct. 31, 2010, according to the hospital's personnel office.

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