Maine medical licensure board sets limits on urologist who removed wrong testicle from patient

Posted July 11, 2014, at 5:08 p.m.
Last modified July 12, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A urologist based in the state of Washington who mistakenly removed a patient’s left testicle has agreed to limit any potential future work in Maine, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine announced in a news release on Friday.

The board said Dr. Robert Modarelli, who practices medicine in Washington but has been licensed in Maine since 2011, consented to limit any future practice in Maine by signing an agreement on July 8. He may not practice medicine or surgery in a Maine hospital or clinic and must limit in-office surgeries to those that require only local anesthesia.

Modarelli worked briefly as a urologist at The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle between November 2011 and March 2012. In that time frame, he worked off and on for a total of two months, according to Jason Parent, TAMC’s director of advancement.

In August 2011, while working in Washington, Modarelli mistakenly removed a patient’s left testicle instead of the right one, which had been causing pain for the patient. He realized his misstep before the end of the procedure. He had been in practice for 39 years before that error.

“He spoke with the family while the patient was under anesthesia and then proceeded to remove the right testicle,” according to the release. The patient’s left testicle was not replaced and the patient is now sterile, according to documents filed in Washington.

Washington State’s Department of Health and Medical Quality Assurance Commission handed down its own punishments after Modarelli signed a similar agreement there in April.

“Should he decide to practice in [Maine], Dr. Modarelli must also submit a protocol designed to prevent wrong-sided surgeries and complete a professional problem-based ethics course,” according to the release.

The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine on Friday also announced several other actions taken against medical practitioners in the state.

Dr. William Salomon of Poland, licensed since 1992, was arrested in 2010 and convicted of disorderly conduct a year later. The arrest stemmed from a car crash involving Salomon’s wife on the couple’s road.

“Dr. Salomon received reprimands for becoming involved as a physician at the scene of his wife’s accident when there were licensed personnel who had not consumed alcohol and for failing to report his conviction on his 2013 renewal,” according to the board.

Salomon also must pay a $1,000 fine.

Kristen Colley, a physician’s assistant licensed in Old Town since 2010, was fined $500 for failing to maintain the confidentiality of patient information.

The board received a complaint from an individual claiming Colley had improperly accessed medical records regarding the complainant from Penobscot Community Health Center. An investigation found Colley had pulled up the records without permission and without medical reason for doing so.

Colley claimed she accessed the documents in hopes she could “avoid contact with [the patient] if possible,” according to board records. Colley also admitted to accessing medical records from her laptop at home and that a person she lived with also had used that laptop to view confidential information.

The board also denied a license renewal request from Alexandria Nesbit, a Bangor-based physician’s assistant, following a July 8 adjudicatory hearing before the board.

Nesbit has been on probation since 2011 because of substance abuse violations after she tested positive for alcohol metabolites. Her license was suspended on May 21 of this year after she stopped participating in mandatory testing required by terms of her probation.

“During the hearing, Ms. Nesbit maintained that she had not used alcohol. Ms. Nesbit may apply for reinstatement of her license after six months,” according to the release.

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