Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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

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

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: The Underwoods bring the political terror in 'House of Cards' Season 5


    The ruthless Frank and Claire Underwood are back, continuing their own form of terror inside and outside of the White House.

    Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in House of Cards Season 5 on Netflix.
  2. Trump hails heroes at Arlington on Memorial Day


    WASHINGTON — UPDATE, 12:28 P.M.: President Donald Trump is expressing his nation's "boundless and undying" gratitude to Americans who have fallen in battle and to the families they left behind.

    President Donald Trump participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. [Photo by Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images]
  3. French president attacks Russian media outlets; Putin says Moscow didn't try to influence French election


    VERSAILLES, France — UPDATE, 11:57 A.M.: French President Emmanuel Macron has made an extraordinary attack on two Russian media outlets, saying they acted as "propaganda" organs during France's election campaign.

    French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Galerie des Batailles (Gallery of Battles) at the Versailles Palace as they arrive for a joint press conference following their meeting in Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday. [Stephane de Sakutin/Pool Photo via AP]
  4. In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County , various media outlets are reporting. [AP photo]
  5. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge Monday in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.