The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)

April 22, 2005 Friday
City Edition

Suspended Weymouth psychiatrist gives up his license

BYLINE: Sue Reinert


LENGTH: 582 words

The Patriot Ledger
A Weymouth psychiatrist who last year agreed to a suspension for practicing while impaired by alcohol has now resigned his license, state regulators said.
Dr. Lee Chartock’s resignation means he is permanently barred from practicing medicine, the Board of Registration in Medicine said.
The resignation is considered a disciplinary action, the board said. In his resignation letter, Chartock said he is not licensed anywhere else and will not seek a license in another state.
Chartock, 46, had been affiliated with South Shore Hospital, Quincy Medical Center and Caritas Carney Hospital.
His attorney, Paul Cirel, said Chartock decided during the past year to work as an executive and corporate coach rather than continue in medicine.
“He has addressed whatever alcohol problem he had,” Cirel said.
According to regulators, Chartock agreed 18 months ago to stop seeing patients and to enter a treatment and monitoring program operated by an arm of the Massachusetts Medical Society.
He made the agreement after his staff and other witnesses reported that he slurred his speech, smelled of alcohol and showed other signs of being intoxicated a number of times in 2002 and 2003, board records say.
In February 2004, while he was in the treatment program, Chartock tested positive for the narcotic painkiller Darvon. Two months later, he agreed to have his license suspended with the possibility of regaining it if he remained sober for six months, board documents say.
Chartock gave no reason for resigning on Tuesday. Although he never regained the right to see patients, he was still listed as the president and treasurer of his former Weymouth practice, Great Care Associates, in the company’s most recent state filing
The Board of Registration also announced yesterday that a well-known plastic and hand surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Upton III, had agreed to stop seeing patients for two weeks, or longer if the board takes additional action against him.
He allegedly failed to make sure a patient was covered by another doctor when he took a required break during surgery.
Upton has received wide attention for using bone and tissue engineering to reconstruct parts of the body.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said in a prepared statement that Upton, on March 17, violated medical staff bylaws and hospital policy “by not being immediately available to provide patient care and resident supervision” during a surgical case.
Although Upton left an operating room during a scheduled, clinically required break in a lengthy operation, he failed to provide proper notification and arrangements for coverage during his absence, the hospital said.
“Though no harm to the patient occurred and the surgery was completed on schedule, the medical center leadership took this breach of policy very seriously” and launched an investigation, the hospital said.
The hospital said it had suspended Upton indefinitely, pending further investigation.
Upton also is listed on the staff of Boston Children’s Hospital as a plastic surgeon. Spokesman Aaron Patnode said the hospital had no immediate comment.
William Dailey, Upton’s attorney, said the doctor is cooperating with investigators.
“He takes very seriously the board’s obligations to the public and is working with the board to bring this matter to a conclusion so he can resume his practice,” Dailey said.