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Doctors Behaving Badly: I wasn't drunk, says pediatrician. Ask the strip club owner.

Doctors Behaving Badly: I wasn't drunk, says pediatrician. Ask the strip club owner.

Picture of William Heisel

All Dr. Narinder Kumar had to do to stay in practice was make one phone call a day.

The phone call was a little unusual but straightforward. Kumar, a pediatrician in Davenport, Iowa, had to call a lab with a contract with the Iowa Board of Medicine to find out whether he had to give a urine sample that day. Kumar had agreed to this arrangement in May 2006.

Less than a year later, the board found that Kumar had not been making the calls the way he said he would, and it temporarily suspended Kumar's license.

By December 2007, though, the board and Kumar had made nice again, and he was back on the one-phone-call-a-day plan. Still, Kumar couldn't stick to the schedule. He drank too much, the board says. He forgot to call. When he did call and was told to give a urine sample, he didn't show up to fill that cup. When a board investigator tracked him down at his house, he claimed he couldn't provide enough of a sample for an accurate test.

When he finally had to go before the medical board in a hearing, her brought in the owner of The Amsterdam Gentleman's Club as a character witness to say he had not seen Kumar drinking at the club. A woman who worked at the club went even further. She said that not only was Kumar not a drinker, but he was a very good pediatrician.

Kumar had another monkey on his back. Back in 2006, the board had ordered him to always examine women while having a female chaperone in the office. They had accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior, the details of which have since been removed from the board's site.

These accusations surfaced again in July 2009. A woman who knew Kumar and one of his business partner's fell asleep at the business partner's house. She alleged that Kumar slipped into the house during the night and climbed on top of her. The board ultimately concluded that it could not prove that the encounter had happened because of lack of evidence.

That didn't do him much good. Those missed phone calls and some altered medical records prompted the board to suspend Kumar's license indefinitely as of Oct. 1, 2009 and fine him $10,000.

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