Belfast doctor loses license after overdosing on medication

Posted Dec. 17, 2012, at 12:54 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 17, 2012, at 8:21 p.m.

A Belfast physician has lost her medical license after twice overdosing on prescription medication, while a Lewiston doctor with a history of substance abuse has regained his license with some limitations, according to the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine.

Myra Altman voluntarily surrendered her license to practice medicine in Maine in a Dec. 11 consent agreement, according to a press release from the board. Altman acknowledged that the board had sufficient evidence to conclude that she has a diagnosis “likely to result in her performing services in a manner that endangers the health and safety of patients.”

The board learned in January that Altman’s employer had permanently suspended her clinical privileges for failing to cover patients, according to the release. Altman responded that she had been hospitalized in May 2011 and was not allowed to return to work for four months, though she remained in contact with covering physicians.

In October 2012, the board discovered that Altman was hospitalized again after overdosing on prescription medication for the second time in 18 months, according to the release.

Altman is board certified in internal medicine and nephrology. She can no longer practice medicine in Maine.

In a separate release, the board announced that Lewiston doctor David Breer was granted a conditional medical license after being disciplined in 2002 for “obtaining opiates through inappropriate prescribing practices.”

Breer had not practiced medicine since 2002, according to the release. He formerly practiced at Androscoggin Psychiatric Associates, according to a state licensing database.

Breer requested in March that his medical licence be reinstated. He participates in a substance abuse monitoring program and passed an exam indicating that his clinical skills remain current, the release stated.

A physician monitor must observe Breer in his practice at least once a week.

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