A Seattle anesthesiologist who sent dozens of sexually explicit texts and photos while supervising surgeries has had his medical license suspended indefinitely, state health officials said.
A Seattle anesthesiologist who sent dozens of sexually explicit texts and photos while supervising C-sections and other surgeries has had his medical license suspended indefinitely, state health officials said Friday.
Arthur K. Zilberstein, 48, must undergo a thorough mental-health and behavioral evaluation, follow expert recommendations and pay a $5,000 fine, the state Medical Commission ruled. He will be monitored by the Washington Physicians Health Program to ensure he follows the sanctions.
Zilberstein’s license was originally suspended in June on charges that he jeopardized patient safety because of a “preoccupation with sexual matters” while on duty from at least April 2013 through August 2013.
On one day alone, June 17, 2013, Zilberstein sent 64 texts during seven surgeries, many with sexual overtones, the charges indicated. He was also charged with improperly accessing medical imaging records for sexual gratification and having sexual encounters while at work.
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He was accused of sending cellphone “selfies” to a patient that showed Zilberstein in hospital scrubs and wearing his hospital badge while exposing himself.
Zilberstein also was accused of issuing unauthorized prescriptions for controlled substances outside of his medical practice and of failing to conduct proper evaluations, diagnoses or treatment plans for patients involved.
He may petition for license reinstatement only after the completed evaluation and treatment recommendations are sent to the commission.
Zilberstein had been in practice since 1995. He worked for Physicians Anesthesia Service, which contracts with Swedish Medical Center. He was previously listed as a Swedish anesthesiologist, although that designation has been removed from the hospital’s website.
Hospital officials said they suspended Zilberstein’s staff privileges as soon as they learned of the problems.