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State suspends medical license of Tampa doctor accused of illegally possessing Demerol

TAMPA — The state on Friday suspended the license of a Tampa doctor accused of using patient names to get Demerol for herself.

Dr. Christina Paylan 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.

She has pleaded not guilty and was released two days after her arrest on $54,250 bond.

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.

The state surgeon general signed an emergency suspension order for Paylan's medical license Friday.

According to the order:

A Department of Health investigator contacted Paylan by phone several times between June 17 and July 20. In some of the conversations and voice messages, Paylan's speech was slurred, she spoke very slowly, incoherently and laughed uncontrollably or at inappropriate times.

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

The program asked the doctor for hair and urine samples on June 27, but she didn't provide them until July 13, records show.

Evaluators asked her to stop practicing medicine in late June, but she continued.

The order also states that Paylan missed five evaluation appointments and on July 26, test results on her hair sample revealed she used Demerol.

On Aug. 1, records show, Paylan told a psychiatrist assigned to evaluate her that the Demerol was prescribed by a surgeon whom she would not allow anyone to contact. She also had bruising on her arms which she attributed to injecting a weight-loss drug. She was supposed to stay in the program for four to seven days, but demanded to be released on the second day.

Based on her criminal charges, positive Demerol test and erratic behavior, the psychiatrist, the Professional Resource Network and the investigator all suggested Paylan may be unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill or safety, according to the order.

Often, the state does not revoke a doctor's license simply because he or she was arrested. However, state officials have the option of issuing an emergency suspension order if they believe the doctor poses an immediate danger to the public.

Paylan's attorney, Alex Stavrou, said in June that his clients denies every allegation. He did not immediately reply to a reporter's inquiries late Friday afternoon.

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

State suspends medical license of Tampa doctor accused of illegally possessing Demerol 08/05/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2011 11:21pm]
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