State revokes psychiatrist David Gudeman's license; two patients died
December 10, 2013
State regulators have told a Simi Valley psychiatrist he can no longer practice medicine and that his request for a rehearing has been denied, an attorney said Monday.
The Medical Board of California agreed in October to an administrative judge’s ruling that Dr. David Gudeman’s license should be revoked because he negligently prescribed painkillers and kept inadequate records. That decision was put on hold when Gudeman challenged it by requesting a review.
But the delay ended Friday. James Studer, Gudeman’s lawyer, said he was told Monday that the board took no action on Gudeman’s request for a rehearing, meaning it was denied.
“He’s currently revoked,” Studer said, adding that Gudeman is fighting the decision in Ventura County Superior Court.
Judge Daniel Juarez ruled that Gudeman made mistakes in prescribing opiates and other medications to patients already fighting addiction. Two patients died of drug intoxication, according to board records.
Gudeman said he’s falsely accused in cases involving all seven patients listed in the Medical Board’s accusation. He said mistakes were made in the investigation, including what he called attempts to link him to a death involving drugs he did not prescribe.
“I find that a huge disappointment,” he said of the board’s decision not to rehear his case. “I think it’s a disservice to my 1,200 patients.”
A spokeswoman for the medical board said the board met its burden of proof by thoroughly investigating the case.
“Enough evidence was found to move forward in the case,” spokeswoman Cassandra Hockenson said. “We were confident with what we found.”
Gudeman used to be director of the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department. He was fired in 2002 after criticism for embroiling the department in disputes with another agency about mental health treatment in juvenile hall.
Gudeman said he is the only psychiatrist in private practice in Simi Valley. He said Monday he was trying to place his patients with other doctors, some with psychiatrists in other cities and others with local primary care doctors.
He also plans to keep fighting the medical board’s action through a petition in Superior Court. Studer said the petition, if successful, could overturn the revocation or send it back to the board.
A Superior Court judge Friday denied Gudeman’s request for an emergency injunction to block the revocation while the challenge is being reviewed. Studer said he would pursue a preliminary injunction, which will take longer but also temporarily block the revocation.
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