CINCINNATI (Cincinnati Enquirer) - An Oakley gynecologist was suspended from practicing medicine for at least two years and fined $18,000 Wednesday, according to the Medical Board of Ohio.
Dr. Joseph Michael Franzese prescribed oxycodone to a patient in 2017 without an examination or documenting the prescription, then shared the pills with her, and entered into a sexual relationship with her before ending their doctor-patient relationship, according to documents from the state board obtained by our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
On another occasion in 2018, Franzese asked a patient to share some of the Percocet he had just prescribed to her, the documents say.
According to the board, Franzese admitted to both of these incidents.
Since December 2018, Franzese has operated his own practices, but these incidents occurred while working at another doctor’s practice.
Throughout his testimony to the board, Franzese explained that he had not been out of his residency long and has since learned how serious these matters are.
The board also said Franzese told another patient to ask a man on a dating app for pictures of his genitals. Franzese denies that he did this. He said the topic came up in conversation, but he never directed the woman to do anything, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The board did not find his excuse credible.
“Dr. Franzese has exhibited a pattern of misconduct,” the board wrote. “Asking patients for controlled substances or even accepting controlled substances is not only bad practice, it is a crime... Dr. Franzese committed these criminal acts, not due to any substance use disorder, but because it was convenient for him.”
The board also noted that the main physician at the practice where he was working at the time of the incidents told him to seek counseling with the first six months of his employment. Officials said his behavior there was “disruptive,” according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“Dr. Franzese stated at hearing that it was difficult for him being the only man in an office of women, which seems like an odd sentiment for a gynecologist to express,” the board said.
They said that since he became aware of the allegations against him, he has done little to remediate the problem, but added: “It is possible that Dr. Franzese has seen the error of his ways and truly wishes to reform his behavior.”
In addition to the fine and the suspension, Franzese will permanently have to have a chaperone monitor his prescriptions and orders for any Schedule II controlled substances such as oxycodone, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
He will face a three-year probationary period when his license to practice medicine is reinstated, and he must complete a variety of courses on professional behavior, ethics and the prescription of controlled substances, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.