The Board of Physicians fined a doctor $15,000 for logging into remote legislative meetings from her operating room.
Terri Hill, 62, a plastic surgeon, who is also a Democratic delegate for the Maryland General Assembly, was fined for neglecting her patients during surgery.
The doctor was ordered to pay $15,000 after she was spotted appearing in at least two Zoom conferences from her operating room while she performed surgeries on two patients, as per Daily Mail. Both meetings did not require her attendance.
In a statement accepting the Board’s decision, Dr. Hill said:
“As a physician and a professional, I always look for ways to improve my practice. Sometimes this includes accepting constructive criticism from others. I accept the Board’s decision that I could have done better.”
Dr. Alan Robin, who filed the complaint against Dr. Hill, said he was “outraged and appalled” by her behavior.
Speaking to the Baltimore Sun, Dr. Robin said:
“To me, personally, surgery is a very serious thing.”
In his complaint, he explained:
“She’s endangering a patient’s wellbeing by not focusing on the surgery and/or delaying a case by zooming with the legislature. This behavior is not appropriate and should not be allowed.”
Dr. Hill claimed she asked both patients for permission.
The lawmaker affirmed:
“Had there been any safety or privacy concerns, then I wouldn’t have done it.”
However, the first patient, who was undergoing a “major adnominal surgery,” said they do not recall giving their consent to “participate in a legislative committee meeting.”
According to the Board, the patient claimed Dr. Hill’s participation in the Environment and Transportation Committee meeting was a “little discomforting.” They felt the “attention was taken away from her during the surgery.”
The other patient in question was receiving a “major abdominal and back surgery” when Hill decided to join a Health and Government Operations Committee voting session. This time the person stated they agreed to let the surgeon participate in a Zoom meeting.
Nevertheless, the Board concluded that neither patient’s consent forms detailed that Dr. Hill would be taking a meeting during their surgery.
As per the report, a nurse, who was also interviewed during the investigation, said she found the scene “uncomfortable,” but didn’t feel she had the authority to confront the physician.