Malathy Sundaram

SANFORD — The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine suspended the medical license of Sanford physician Malathy Sundaram this week, ruling she did not comply with the terms of an August 2017 consent agreement.

Sundaram, reached by telephone on Friday morning, said she has been working on the terms of the consent decree for some time and hopes to soon have her license to practice medicine restored.

Sundaram, the state licensing agency and the Maine Attorney General’s Office entered into the consent agreement,  which was designed to resolve four complaints stemming from incidents in 2015 and 2016. The complaints were based on treatment and communication issues, the licensing board wrote.

“The board suspended Dr. Sundaram’s medical license following its determination that she was in material noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the consent agreement that she entered into with the board and the Maine Office of Attorney General on Aug. 8, 2017,” Dennis Smith, the director of the Board of Licensure in Medicine, wrote in a news release issued earlier this week. On Friday, Smith said he was unable to comment further.

The agreement spelled out that Sundaram was required to obtain a clinical competence assessment from the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians and comply with any education plan that resulted.

Sundaram has been licensed as a physician in Maine since 2003. In an interview,  she said she had been in contact with the Colorado-based Center for Personalized Education for Physicians for some time. She said she had developed two options for a plan and a monitor and was waiting for the CPEP to contact her when she learned her license had been suspended.

She said her current attorney is communicating with the licensing board and she is looking to her prior attorney to do the same, to show she had been in contact with the education agency.

“I have been following everything the board asked me to do,” she said.

The situation is embarrassing, Sundaram said, and that she learned her license had been suspended when she went to her office earlier this week.

Her patients are upset about what has transpired, she said.

The 2015 and 2016 complaints include reports from two of her patients that she diagnosed their illness as Lyme disease when doctors they engaged after leaving her practice told them they hadn’t had the disease. The doctor told the licensing board her diagnosis and treatment in one case included the patient’s report of a prior tick bite and a lab results. The doctor acknowledged that there was no tick bite in the second case, but the diagnosis of Lyme disease was based on a lab result and the patient’s other symptoms.

A third complaint involved her choice of prescription for a dementia patient in an assisted living environment.

The fourth involved communication with a patient.

The state licensing board in 2016 ordered an independent outside review of 20 patient charts. According to the consent decree, the review identified several issues related to medical decision-making, medical knowledge, prescribing practices and ordering of tests and medical record documentation.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016  or at: [email protected]

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