April 10, 2009

Testimony costs surgeon medical license

The Florida Board of Medicine has ruled a heart surgeon who made false statements while testifying in court will lose his medical license.

South Miami, Fla., surgeon Alex Zakharia agreed to stop practicing medicine as part of a guilty plea in September 2007, but he had been seeking reconsideration prior to the board's ruling during its April meeting, The Miami Herald said Friday.

Zakharia pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor contempt of court after being charged with eight felony counts in relation to statements he made regarding his surgical experiences.

Board member Steven P. Rosenberg, also a surgeon, said Zakharia exaggerated his experience while testifying in a malpractice case in Michigan.

''This is a significant problem -- flying in from other states and testifying,'' Rosenberg told the Herald.

Zakharia's attorney, Allen R. Grossman, told the newspaper that while his client agreed in his plea deal not to appeal his Michigan federal court ruling, he would continue to try to get his surgeon's license reinstated.