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Department of Health seeks court-ordered exam for South Tampa doctor accused of abusing Demerol

TAMPA — A Tampa doctor accused of using patient names to get Demerol for herself was ordered to undergo a mental and physical examination, but state officials say she never did.

Now the Florida Department of Health is asking for the court's help.

In a petition filed last week, the agency asks that a judge order the doctor to submit to examination.

Dr. Christina Paylan's name is not actually stated in the petition, which is filed against a "Jane Doe, M.D.," but the details of the case — laid out in an attached exhibit — match police and Department of Health documents pertaining to Paylan's case.

Paylan, 43, was arrested in June after police reported she injected Demerol, an addictive narcotic similar to morphine in strength, with her boyfriend in the $510,000 home they share near Bayshore Boulevard.

Police found several prescription medications, used syringes and bloody gauze at the home, according to both the Department of Health's court filing and a search warrant affidavit that police filed in June.

The doctor had marks on the inside of her left arm, which police described as needle tracks, a Department of Health order states.

Paylan pleaded not guilty to possession of Demerol, Valium and Xanax, and to trafficking in hydrocodone, and was released two days after her arrest on $54,250 bond. In August, the state suspended Paylan's medical license.

Since then, the lights have occasionally been on at her clinic on Kennedy Boulevard. A sign advertises hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and her website still touts her services.

However, the business is not open for clients, said Paylan's attorney, Alan Wagner. Paylan has not been practicing medicine since her license was suspended, he said Tuesday.

At the time of her arrest, Paylan was licensed to practice medicine in Florida and was the director of Cosmetic Surgery of Tampa Bay at 3230 W Kennedy Blvd.

According to the Department of Health, an investigator contacted Paylan by phone several times in June and July. In some of the conversations and voice messages, Paylan's speech was slurred, she spoke slowly and incoherently, and she laughed uncontrollably or at inappropriate times.

Officials recommended Paylan contact Professional Resource Network, a program that evaluates and treats impaired health care practitioners.

But Paylan missed five evaluation appointments, an emergency suspension order states. One time, she showed up to a clinic at 2 a.m.

On July 26, test results from a hair sample revealed she used Demerol, the order states. But on Aug. 1, records show, Paylan reported the Demerol was prescribed by a surgeon whom she would not allow anyone to contact.

The next day, the Department of Health ordered Paylan to get a mental and physical exam, scheduled for Aug. 15. She didn't show up, the petition states.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Department of Health seeks court-ordered exam for South Tampa doctor accused of abusing Demerol 10/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 11:23pm]
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