Health

Monday, Mar 18 2013 10:30 PM

Doctor accused of sexual misconduct agrees to probation

BY CHRISTINE BEDELL Californian city editor cbedell@bakersfield.com

A former Florence R. Wheeler Cancer Center medical director accused by the state medical board of sexual misconduct with patients has agreed to a settlement of charges that puts him on probation for five years.

The physician, radiation oncologist Dean Davis, admitted to some but not all of the allegations and could see his license to practice revoked if he doesn't abide by the myriad terms of the deal, according to a Medical Board of California stipulated settlement and disciplinary order.

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The agreement was signed by Davis, his attorney and the state Attorney General's office in August 2012. It took effect Friday.

Davis' attorney, Peter Osinoff, said the doctor long ago recognized some of his behavior with a patient was wrong and he immediately sought professional help, some of which continues today.

"He's been very proactive about dealing with the problems that led to this," Osinoff said. "That is why, I'm sure, the medical board allowed him to continue to practice."

He did not know whether Davis is practicing medicine in Bakersfield right now. Davis could not be reached for comment.

The medical board's first amended accusation said that in 2009, Davis made inappropriate comments and sent explicit text messages to a 52-year-old female patient with a history of breast cancer and ultimately the two engaged in sex acts.

He admitted to doing those things, according to the settlement, which only identified the patient as K.D. Davis did not admit to other alleged encounters with K.D. described in the accusation.

Also in the accusation, the attorney general's office accused Davis of misconduct with a 42-year-old patient called L.H. with a history of recurrent pleomorphic adenoma, a mixed salivary gland tumor.

It said that during her treatment in 2005 and 2006, he repeatedly called her beautiful and once suggested she have sex to help with her insomnia. The relationship escalated, according to the document, with Davis and L.H. exchanging text messages of a sexual nature.

It said the two met at Davis' home in 2006, they kissed and Davis performed a sex act on L.H. "Into 2008," Davis continued sending L.H. texts of a sexual nature, according to the accusation.

Davis denies all of the allegations involving L.H., Osinoff said. He said L.H. complained to the medical board after the accusations involving K.D. became public.

Under the terms of his probation, Davis must be chaperoned while consulting, examining or treating female patients. He can't supervise physician assistants or see patients in their homes unless they live in a skilled nursing or similar licensed facility.

Davis must complete an ethics course, professional boundaries program and psychotherapy.

Osinoff said Davis already completed "substantial" ethics and boundaries programs -- and that he started them immediately after his inappropriate behavior with K.D. -- and he continues to be in counseling.

"He's maintained his knowledge of medicine, but the medical board wants to keep an eye on him the next few years, see how he does," Osinoff said. "If he were not recognized by the medical board as completely safe to practice, it wouldn't allow him to continue to practice."

If Davis violates probation, the board can revoke probation and carry out the discipline that was stayed, the settlement says.

Davis has been a licensed doctor and surgeon since 1987, the medical board document says. He worked at the cancer center for about 10 years. He and the center parted ways in June 2011, after the medical board investigation came to light.

The hospital hadn't received any other patient complaints about Davis, a spokeswoman said at the time. His California medical board record shows no previous disciplinary actions, malpractice or criminal misconduct.

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