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License remains suspended for former Morton Plant anesthesiologist

Dr. Benjamin Sanchez, an anesthesiologist who formerly practiced at Clearwater's Morton Plant Hospital and in Hillsborough County, spent a year in prison over criminal charges related to death threats he made against former co-workers.

Now out of jail and serving three years of community supervision, Sanchez appeared Friday before the Florida Board of Medicine in Orlando, which decided he isn't yet ready to return to the practice of medicine.

Board members reprimanded Sanchez, who was sentenced in July 2009 to nearly two years of prison time after pleading no contest to charges of aggravated stalking, criminal mischief and twice violating injunctions. Court testimony indicated that Sanchez struggled with mental illness.

The state medical board fined Sanchez $2,500 and suspended his license indefinitely until he can prove his ability to practice safely.

In another high-profile case, the board accepted Dr. Robert L. Ignasiak Jr.'s voluntary relinquishment of his medical license.

Ignasiak, a small-town doctor from the Panhandle who was the subject of a Times story in September about physicians' role in the prescription drug crisis, is serving federal jail time after a jury found him guilty of 43 counts of health care fraud and unlawfully dispensing narcotics and other controlled substances.

License remains suspended for former Morton Plant anesthesiologist 12/03/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 3, 2010 10:32pm]

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