Hospital monitoring doctor’s status

Published 6:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2011

Troy Regional Medical Center is monitoring the state licensure board to see if action will be taken against a staff physician who was recently convicted of a felony.

Dr. Andrew Osborne, 47, of Dothan was convicted in June of felony second-degree domestic violence in a case involving a dispute between Osborne and his wife, Suzette Marie Osborne. He was sentenced to 90 days work release on July 1, along with $4,500 in fines; 40 hours of community service; and participation in an anger management course.

“We have been aware of the situation since the incident occurred (in October 2010),” said Teresa Grimes, CEO at Troy Regional. “We have monitored it extremely closely throughout the trial and conviction … and we are continuing to monitor it.”

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If the state licensure board takes action, “We would respond accordingly,” Grimes said Wednesday.

Grimes said the hospital’s credentialing committee met Monday and reviewed Osborne’s case, voting to continue his credentials and privileges at TRMC. Osborne, an anesthesiologist, has worked as a contract physician with the hospital for more than two years. He was until recently a member of an anesthesiology group in Dothan.

“Everybody that works in the surgery department has given him their full support,” said Dr. Wilton McRae, who is chief of staff at TRMC and chairman of the credentialing committee. “It’s a problem in our opinion between him and his wife and has nothing to do with his ability to practice medicine …

“We think he’s a very good, moral, competent person.”

Osborne began working at the Troy hospital through the group in Dothan, all of whose members performed contract services at Troy. He was assigned full-time to the Troy hospital after October 2010. He separated from the group during the time of his trial and sentencing. He returned to work full-time at TRMC shortly after the credentialing committee met on Monday.

“Here’s a man that has never had any complaints about him or about his character (until this incident),” McRae said. “His work record is impeccable. He was chief of staff at Flowers Hospital a couple of years ago and if you talk to me or any of the other surgeons here we don’t have anything but the highest regards and respect for him.

“I would let him do anesthesia on me, my wife and my family.”

According to the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners Medical Licensure Commission, Osborne has held a license to practice medicine in the state for 17 years and has no restrictions on his license.

The Board of Medical Examiners can open an investigation into a physician if a complaint is filed to the board. The 15-member panel of physicians will review the case and can choose to do nothing; choose to get more information; seek outside, expert opinion; or close the case with a formal letter, all of which would be confidential and not made public. The board also can take disciplinary action by sending the physician to a treatment program or it can file a charge against the physicians for violating one of 22 grounds for disciplinary action outlined by the board. Conviction of a felony crime is included in that list. Either of those actions would be made public.

If the Board of Medical Examiners files a charge, it will be reviewed by the state Medical Licensure Commission, comprised of six physicians and one consumer. It has the sole authority to revoke a physician’s license.

The Board of Medical Examiners meets July 20 and the Medical Licensure Commission meets July 27.