HOULTON, Maine — The state’s medical board has reprimanded a former Houlton doctor, who was fired more than a year ago for kissing a female patient in the hospital’s emergency room.
In March 2013, two nurses observed Dr. Waleed Khan in a “passionate kiss” with a female patient, who had been brought to the emergency room under the influence of drugs and suffering from an arm laceration. Dr. Khan was subsequently fired from the hospital for inappropriate conduct with a patient.
A consent agreement between Dr. Khan and the state was filed last Wednesday with the state of Maine Department of the Attorney General. By signing the consent agreement, Dr. Khan avoided the case going to an adjudicatory hearing and also admitted to the incident. He also waived any and all objections to the case.
At the time of the incident, Dr. Khan was acting as a locum tenens (temporary) physician providing coverage in the Emergency Department. He practiced medicine in Maine under a temporary license from June 11, 2012 to June 10, 2013. He no longer holds a license to practice medicine in Maine and now resides in Texas.
In the report, “Nurse 1” reported seeing Dr. Khan in an embrace with the patient, with their arms wrapped around each other. The nurse left the emergency room and located “Nurse 2,” to inform her of what she saw. “Nurse 2” went to the emergency room and also witnessed the two in a “passionate embrace” while the patient was lying on a stretcher.
The two nurses immediately reported the matter to their supervisor.
As a result of this information, the review board determined that the embrace lasted long enough to be more than an accidental embrace. Both nurses indicated they saw no attempt by Dr. Khan to push away from the female patient.
In his response, Dr. Khan expressed regret over the concerns that the situation caused Houlton Regional Hospital and that it jeopardized his position with the hospital. However, Dr. Khan did not believe that his behavior rose to the level unprofessional conduct or violated any Board statutes.
He asserted that the incident arose out of a “cultural misunderstanding” and as a result of his ethnic background.
The board ruled that, while there was no evidence to indicate that Dr. Khan initiated the kiss, by continuing the embrace with a patient who was under the influence of drugs, he engaged in a conduct that exploited the physician-patient relationship in a sexual way. He was advised not to engage in any similar type of conduct in the future.
Dr. Khan was fined $1,000 (payable to the Maine Treasurer) and ordered to reimburse the board $961 in legal costs for the hearing. No further legal action will be initiated on Dr. Khan per the consent agreement.