Three Minnesota doctors cited for misconduct

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2011 - 11:47 PM

The complaints ranged from misconduct with a patient to improper care. Two doctors were suspended.

A Maple Grove plastic surgeon has been reprimanded by the state Board of Medical Practice after authorities received three complaints alleging inappropriate sexual conduct with patients.

Christopher J. Kovanda, 45, engaged in suggestive language and touching during clinic visits, according to the first two complaints, both filed in 2008. The board closed those cases without disciplinary action.

The board received a third complaint in January, which alleged that Kovanda engaged in sexual intercourse with the complainant at the doctor's home. Kovanda admitted the sexual encounter, according to a board ruling issued Tuesday, but denied that any misconduct occurred at his clinic.

The board ordered that Kovanda must, for at least three years, have a female chaperone present while seeing female patients.

He must also take a professional conduct class, work in an approved setting, find a doctor to supervise him and pay a $3,226 fine.

In a second action filed this week, a Wahpeton, N.D., doctor who was found to be prescribing narcotics without adequately assessing risks, monitoring patients or documenting orders was suspended indefinitely after he violated conditions placed on his license in August.

James P. Wasemiller, who also has an office in Breckenridge, Minn., was issued a stayed suspension in August based on a review of his practice and a 2010 clinical-skills test in which he failed to demonstrate adequate medical knowledge or reasoning skills. The board told Wasemiller then that, among other conditions, he needed to work in a group setting and find a doctor to supervise him. He did not meet those two conditions, which led to the suspension announced Tuesday.

State records show that Wasemiller was disciplined in 1992 for prescribing drugs without proper recordkeeping, and in 2008 he was terminated from an insurance provider network for prescribing too many narcotics.

In a third case released this week, Gloria Lopez, a Florida dermatologist also licensed in Minnesota, was indefinitely suspended by the board after she failed to show up for a hearing this month.

The hearing was held to address deficiencies in Lopez's practice, including failure to adequately document dermatological exams and procedures and provide adequate follow-up with patients or deal properly with cases of possible cancer.

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