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Physician's license suspended

Thursday, September 27, 2007

David Kauffman M.D. ordered to appear before Arkansas Medical Board ... again

A local doctor with a penchant for finding trouble has found himself in an all too familiar predicament.

The Arkansas State Medical Board has suspended Dr. David Kauffman's medical license for the second time in his 29 years of practice.

Oct. 5 Kauffman will face members of the Arkansas Medical Board in a hearing at Little Rock to determine "whether (Kauffman's license) to practice medicine in the state of Arkansas should be revoked or suspended, or whether other sanctions should be given as punishment," according to official Arkansas Medical Board documents.

This hearing is a result of the board's Aug. 3 decision to issue an Emergency Order of Suspension of Kauffman's medical license after multiple complaints were filed against the physician.

Juli Carlson, an executive assistant with the board, said Kauffman has a history of trouble with the medical board. She said Kauffman has been charged with committing multiple violations of the Medical Practices Act.

"Specifically the habitual use of alcohol and ... failing to have an accurate inventory and auditing of controlled substances within his practice," say board documents.

This recent license suspension was spurred by an early June incident in which controlled substances in Kauffman's possession were unaccounted for.

June 5 a board sanctioned inventory found controlled substances -- 17 ampules of Nalbuphine and 7 mg of Midazolam -- missing from Kauffman's office.

In addition to this most recent incident, Kauffman's practice has been plagued in recent years by problems with the law.

According to a Detailed License Verification from the medical board, complaints against Kauffman started in March 1992; however the board determined he had not committed any violations.

The medical board received a second complaint against Kauffman in September 1996. Again the board found no violation, but in June 1997, the board issued an Emergency Order of Suspension, suspending Kauffman's license.

September 1997 Kauffman's license suspension was temporarily lifted until his revocation hearing at the request of Kauffman and his attorney Diane Mackey.

In October 1997, the board determined Kauffman had violated the Arkansas Medical Practices Act. His medical license was revoked, and he was ordered to pay over $7,000 in fines.

With the help of a different attorney, Larry Kissee, Kauffman's license was permanently reinstated in January 1999 on the condition that he meet with a psychotherapist and have quarterly reports sent to the board for their evaluation.

June 2002 a third complaint was filed against Kauffman, but he dodged trouble after the board said there was no evidence of a violation.

March 4, 2004, Kauffman was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Kauffman again fell into trouble in February 2005 when he was charged with possession of a controlled substance, careless and prohibited driving, no proof of insurance, failure to yield, failure to register and no license plate.

Kauffman was taken into police custody after being involved in a wreck authorities suspected was drug induced.

According to Ash Flat Police and Highland police chiefs Mike Zeiger and Bea Sharp, respectively, at the time of the incident Kauffman attempted to turn left into a parking lot along Highway 175 near Cherokee Village Elementary School when he struck an oncoming vehicle in the passenger side door.

"His eyes looked glazed and red and his clothes were wrinkled and disheveled," Sharp said of Kauffman's appearance during an interview, shortly after the collision.

When questioned, Kauffman denied taking any medications, but officers found a prescription pill bottle of 37.5 mg of the diet pill phentermine, in his right front pants pocket. Kauffman told Sharp the medication belonged to his nurse and that he put the medication in his pocket after he found it in his car.

Less than two years later, on Sept. 3, 2006, Kauffman was again convicted of driving drunk.

Oct. 24, 2006, Kauffman was involved in a one-vehicle accident on Pottawahtamie Drive in Cherokee Village. Investigating authorities said Kauffman appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the wreck and that medication vials were found in his car and in the yard of his residence.

Nov. 17, 2006, Kauffman was convicted of driving on a suspended license after it was revoked a month prior for his numerous indiscretions.

"(Kauffman) has exhibited the habitual use of alcohol to such an extent as to endanger the moral trust and confidence that his patients demand ... his abuse of alcohol is a danger to himself, the citizens of Arkansas and his patients," said documents issued by the state medical board.

If Kauffman's license is revoked after the Oct. 5 hearing with the medical board he will be eligible to reapply only after, "providing satisfactory proof to the board of both his skill and mentality."

Because of Kauffman's license suspension, there are currently only two doctors on call at the Fulton County Hospital, Dr. Griffin Arnold and Dr. Jim Bozeman.

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