LEWISTON — An Auburn doctor who admitted having an affair with a patient was fined and is barred from seeing patients for a month.
Dr. Patrick Fallon, an orthopaedic surgeon licensed to practice in Maine since 1994, signed a consent agreement with the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine that carries a $10,000 fine. It suspends $4,000 of the fine if he pays the remaining $6,000 on time and complies with all other terms of the agreement, according to public documents.
Fallon stopped seeing patients on Thursday, according to a spokesman for Central Maine Orthopaedics, P.A., where Fallon continues to be employed.
Fallon's patients may reschedule appointments or see another of the clinic's doctors if they prefer, spokesman Will McClaran said.
"I know that our staff is working really diligently to work around that right now," McClaran said Thursday.
Fallon also will be on license probation for five years. That includes:
* Notifying the board of all locations where he practices medicine;
* Providing the board with all of his records wherever he works;
* Allowing random inspections by the board to any medical practice where he works;
* Completing a board-approved "substantive" course in medical ethics and boundaries within six months of the signing of the agreement;
* Working with a medical practice monitor, starting within a month of the agreement, who will oversee Fallon's practice by observing him at least once a week and reporting to the board if Fallon demonstrates problems with isolation, inappropriate boundaries or decision-making, incompetence or unprofessionalism; and
* Reimbursing the board $1,000 to cover the cost of its investigation.
If Fallon were to fail to comply with the terms of the agreement, the state could suspend or revoke his license.
The board's action was triggered by an investigation that began a year ago after the husband of one of Fallon's patients reported he was having an "inappropriate relationship" with the man's wife.
When asked about it, Fallon wrote that the woman had been his patient, but he denied the accusation. He said the two had communicated on business outside the office face to face in public places and "one or two brief phone conversations."
His patient's husband provided phone records showing dozens of calls between them. Those records were confirmed after the board subpoenaed Fallon's cellphone records. The records also showed multiple text messages from Fallon.
Fallon later admitted having lied to the board and confessed he pursued a relationship with his patient.
Fallon is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon who joined Central Maine Orthopaedics in 2002, according to the practice's website. His areas of specialty include sports medicine as well as shoulder and knee arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery.
In a formal statement in response to the board's action, Central Maine Orthopaedics CEO Dr. Michael H. Cox said, "Of course, I am not happy with the situation, but we all make mistakes. Dr. Fallon is a good doctor and a good person. He is an important member of a strong team at CMO. He is extremely remorseful, and while he is away we will do everything we can to ensure minimal disruption for our patients, fellow providers and employees."