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Anesthesiologist Suspended for Sexually Charged Texts, Illicit Behavior

"Preoccupation" compromised patient safety, say state investigators.

Published: June 10, 2014

A Seattle anesthesiologist accused of sending hundreds of sexually explicit text messages and X-rated "selfies" while on duty has been suspended by the Washington State Department of Health.

The department's Medical Quality Assurance Commission says a preoccupation with sexual matters led Arthur K. Zilberstein, MD, to compromise patient safety. He's alleged to have sent dozens of sexually charged messages during numerous types of procedures, including Caesarians, appendectomies, tubal ligations and cardiac-probe insertions. A text during one procedure read, "I'm hella busy with C sections."

Dr. Zilberstein, 47, is also accused of issuing at least 29 unauthorized prescriptions, many for narcotics; improperly accessing medical record images for sexual gratification purposes; and engaging in sexual encounters at his workplace.

The charges further detail an occasion during which he is alleged to have sent a patient a selfie in which his genitals are exposed, followed later by a text message reading: "Oh. And my partner walked in as I was pulling up my scrubs. I'm pretty sure he caught me."

He has 20 days to respond to the charges and request a hearing, and is barred from practicing in the state until the charges are resolved. Attempts to reach Dr. Zilberstein for comment were unsuccessful.

Jim Burger


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