BEFORE THE ARIZONA MEDICAL BOARD
Lawrence Cronin, M.D. (“Respondent’), elects to permanently waive any right to a hearing and appeal with respect to this Order for Surrender of License; admits the jurisdiction of the Arizona Medical Board (“Board”); and consents to the entry of this Order by the Board.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The Board is the duly constituted authority for the regulation and control of the practice of allopathic medicine in the State of Arizona.
2. Respondent is the holder of license number 18696 for the practice of allopathic medicine in the State of Arizona.
3. The Board initiated case number MD-14-1469A after receiving a complaint regarding Respondent’s care and treatment of a female patient (“RH”) alleging that Respondent engaged in a sexual relationship with RH while Respondent was her treating psychiatrist/therapist. The complaint also alleged that Respondent overmedicated RH with hypnotic agents.
4. Respondent began to treat RH on November 17, 2008 in an outpatient clinic setting. Respondent thereafter provided outpatient psychiatric care to RH until April 29, 2014. . Respondent admitted during the course of the investigation that he and RH had a sexual relationship that commenced in September of 2013 and lasted until September of 2014.
5. The matter was reviewed by a Medical Consultant who identified deviations from the standard of care with regard to Respondent’s prescription of hypnotic agents to RH. The MC also found that Respondent failed to appropriately document an assessment for substance abuse or dependence for RH. Respondent denies that he breached the standard of care with regard to prescribing medications to RH and affirmatively asserts that his documentation was adequate
6. Based on a review of the available evidence, and in consultation with the Board’s medical consultant, who agreed that an evaluation was necessary, the Executive Director issued a Confidential Interim Order for a Psychosexual Evaluation pursuant to A.R.S. 32-1451(C) and A.A.C. R4-16-501 on December 22, 2014. The Interim Order required Respondent to both obtain an appropriate evaluation as well as complete any treatment recommendations made by the evaluating facility. Additionally on that same date, Respondent entered into a non-confidential Interim Order for Practice Restriction that prohibited Respondent from practicing medicine in the State of Arizona until he applied to the Board and received permission to do so.
7. On January 6 through 8, 2015, Respondent successfully completed a comprehensive psychosexual evaluation at a Board approved facility. At the conclusion of the evaluation, Respondent was deemed unsafe to practice to – a reasonable degree of medical probability. It was recommended that prior to resuming the active practice of medicine, Respondent undergo a 90-day intensive, residential treatment program to address professional sexual boundary violations and maladaptive personality traits identified during the course of the evaluation as well as adhere to any discharge recommendations made by the treatment facility.
8. Respondent presented for inpatient treatment on January 23, 2015. He was administratively discharged on April 7, 2015 due in part to violations of program guidelines.
As a result, the facility determined that Respondent reached the maximum treatment benefit for the program. The facility’s discharge recommendation was that Respondent remained unsafe to practice absent additional treatment, including that Respondent not return to the practice of medicine absent at least a year of treatment supervised by a physician approved by the Board and until he obtains a re-evaluation after a sustained period of sobriety from compulsive behaviors or boundary violations. As of the date of this consent order, Respondent asserts that he is following all of the recommendations of the treatment facility for ongoing supervised treatment.
9. Respondent admits to the acts described above and that they constitute
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The Board possesses jurisdiction over the subject matter hereof and over Respondent.
2. The conduct and circumstances described above constitute unprofessional conduct pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-1401(27)(q) (“[a]ny conduct or practice that is or might be harmful or dangerous to the health of the patient or the public.”).
3. The conduct and circumstances described above constitute unprofessional conduct pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-1401(27)(r) (“[v]iolating a formal order, probation, consent agreement or stipulation issued or entered into by the Board or its Executive Director under this chapter.”).
4. The conduct and circumstances described above constitute unprofessional conduct pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-1401(27)(z) (“[e]ngaging in sexual conduct with a current patient or with a former patient within six months after the last medical consultation unless the patient was the licensee’s spouse at the time of the contact or, immediately preceding the physician-patient relationship, was in a dating or engagement relationship with the
licensee. For the purposes of this subdivision, “sexual conduct” includes: (i) Engaging in or soliciting sexual relationships, whether consensual or nonconsensual. (ii) Making sexual advances, requesting sexual favors or engaging in any. other verbal conduct or physical contact of a sexual nature. (iii) Intentionally viewing a completely or partially disrobed patient in the course of treatment if the viewing is not related to patient diagnosis or treatment under current practice standards.”).
5. The Board possesses statutory authority to enter into a consent agreement
with a physician and accept the surrender of an active license from a physician who admits to being unable to safely engage in the practice of medicine and having committed an act of unprofessional conduct. A.R.S. § 32-1451(T)(1) and (2).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Respondent immediately surrender License Number 18696, issued to Lawrence Cronin, M.D., for the practice of allopathic medicine in the State of Arizona, and return his certificate of licensure to the Board.
DATED and effective this 7/
day of , 2015.
ARIZONA MEDICAL BOARD
Patricia E. McSorley
( 2( XSO’
CONSENT TO ENTRY OF ORDER
1. Respondent has read and understands this Consent Agreement and the
stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order (“Order”). Respondent acknowledges he has the right to consult with legal counsel regarding this matter.
2. Respondent acknowledges and agrees that this Order is entered into freely and voluntarily and that no promise was made or coercion used to induce such entry.
3. By consenting to this Order, Respondent voluntarily relinquishes any rights to a hearing or judicial review in state or federal court on the matters alleged, or to challenge this Order in its entirety as issued by the Board, and waives any other cause of action related thereto or arising from said Order.
4. The Order is not effective until approved by the Board and signed by its Executive Director.
5. All admissions made by Respondent are solely for final disposition of this matter and any subsequent related administrative proceedings or civil litigation involving the Board and Respondent. Therefore, said admissions by Respondent are not intended or made for any other use, such as in the context of another state or federal government regulatory agency proceeding, civil or criminal court proceeding, in the State of Arizona or any other state or federal court.
6. Upon signing this agreement, and returning this document (or a copy thereof) to the Board’s Executive Director, Respondent may not revoke the consent to the entry of the Order. Respondent may not make any modifications to the document. Any modifications to this original document are ineffective and void unless mutually approved by the parties.
7. This Order is a public record that will be publicly disseminated as a formal disciplinary action of the Board and will be reported to the National Practitioner’s Data Bank and on the Board’s web site as a disciplinary action.
8. If any part of the Order is later declared void or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the Order in its entirety shall remain in force and effect.
9. If the Board does not adopt this Order, Respondent will not assert as a defense that the Board’s consideration of the Order constitutes bias, prejudice, prejudgment or other similar defense.
10. Respondent has read and understands the terms of this agreement
EXECUTED COPY of the foregoing mailed by US Mail this 4414- day of San. e._ , 2015 to:
Udall Law Firm
4801 East Broadway
Tucson, AZ 85711-3609 Attorney for Respondent
ORIGINAL of the foregoing filed this 1-14-4″- day of -jart,e , 2015 with:
The Arizona Medical Board
9545 East Doubletree Ranch Road Scottsdale, AZ 85258