The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported that a 40-year-old surgeon has voluntarily surrendered his Iowa medical license seventeen months after his medical license was summarily suspended and two years after his clinical privileges were suspended at various medical facilities. During his career as a surgeon, he has been the named defendant in fifteen Iowa medical malpractice lawsuits.
The Iowa Capital Dispatch stated, “The case of Dr. Adam B. Smith, a 40-year-old physician who practiced in Sioux City, illustrates how surgeons and other medical professionals can remain licensed in Iowa even as they’re accused of fraud, negligence and incompetence by colleagues, patients, prosecutors and licensing boards.”
The surgeon reportedly was granted staff privileges at a northern Michigan hospital in 2011. That hospital concluded in late 2012 that there was substantial evidence that the surgeon was performing surgery to correct conditions that did not exist, after the hospital reviewed the medical records of those patients. A second review of the surgeon’s medical records for fourteen patients in 2013 reportedly found issues involving surgical treatment of twelve of those patients. The surgeon relinquished his staff privileges at the hospital in January 2014, and moved to Iowa, where the Iowa Board of Medicine granted him an Iowa medical license in July 2014.
The federal government filed a federal civil lawsuit against the surgeon in late 2018, alleging that the surgeon committed fraud while at the hospital in northern Michigan, including performing unnecessary surgery on an 89-year-old patient who died days later from complications and billing Medicare for part of the surgery that was never performed.
The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners summarily suspended the surgeon’s South Dakota medical license in September 2019 after his clinical privileges had been suspended at five medical facilities during the previous nine months due to allegations of patient abandonment, failure to provide adequate patient care, and other issues.
The surgeon was indicted weeks later by a federal grand jury for his alleged coding of cosmetic procedures as non-cosmetic operations while he worked at Borealis Plastic Surgery in Michigan from 2011 through 2013.
Despite having been sued for medical malpractice by at least eight Iowa women by 2019 (one of those cases resulted in a defense verdict, one is scheduled for trial in 2022, and the others did no go to trial), he still held an active Iowa medical license.
In July 2019, the Iowa Board of Medicine filed a statement of charges against the surgeon alleging that between December 2014 and September 2017 he had failed to provide appropriate surgical care to seventeen of his patients in Sioux City, but the Iowa Board of Medicine did not summarily suspend his Iowa medical license. In late 2020, the Iowa Board of Medicine filed an amended statement of charges alleging professional incompetence; practicing in a manner harmful to the public; unethical or unprofessional conduct; inappropriate prescribing; knowingly making false statements to the public; and other infractions, yet no action was taken on his Iowa medical license.
Early last month, the Iowa Board of Medicine announced an agreement to settle its case against the surgeon by having him voluntarily surrender his Iowa medical license; seven Iowa women still have pending malpractice claims against the surgeon.
The Iowa Capital Dispatch stated, “In Smith’s case, six years passed between between his first alleged licensing violations in Sioux City and his recent agreement to surrender his license. During those years, Smith continued to operate on Iowans, resulting in the string of malpractice claims that includes one filed by an Iowa woman who says she has had to spend more than $60,000 on three corrective surgeries over the past four years … Smith left Iowa sometime in late 2019, shortly after a $250,000 civil court judgment was levied against him in a business-contract lawsuit. After that, even his attorneys in Des Moines couldn’t locate him.”
If you or a loved one may have been harmed as a result of medical malpractice in Iowa or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Iowa medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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