After spending 11 years on probation, a Davis doctor lost his medical license Thursday after his fifth complaint before the state medical board.
At its May meeting, the state medical licensure board revoked the medical license of Bruce S. Gilmore, who practiced internal medicine at the Arbuckle Clinic in Davis.
Gilmore hasn't practiced medicine since March when he agreed not to practice. Davis has worked in the medical field in multiple cities in Oklahoma, including Davis, Sulphur, Ardmore and Battiest.
The complaint discussed in Thursday's hearing arose after Gilmore failed a drug test in September. Gilmore was already on probation from prior complaints.
Since 2001, Gilmore has been on probation. His license was suspended for about three months in 2001 for a narcotics and overprescribing violation. In 2002, his license was suspended for two months on substance abuse. In 2003, it was suspended for about 10 months on substance abuse. And in 2008, his license was revoked on alcohol abuse, according to medical board records.
Gilmore said on Thursday that he is a recovering alcoholic and attends support groups.
In 2009, when the medical board reinstated Gilmore's license, it was under terms of probation.
One of those terms was that Gilmore “will take no medication except that which is authorized by a physician treating him for a legitimate medical need.” Additionally, under the terms of probation, Gilmore wasn't allowed to take any substance that would “cause a body fluid sample to test positive for prohibited substances including but not limited to alcohol,” according to court records.
The most recent complaint came after he tested positive in September for hydrocodone, a Schedule II narcotic pain medication. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse that might lead to severe psychological or physical dependence, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Gary Ricks, a compliance and education coordinator for the medical board, said when he drug tested Gilmore in September as part of Gilmore's probation, Gilmore didn't tell him he had recently taken a hydrocodone pill.
Gilmore said he took the hydrocodone for back pain, a decision he regretted not admitting to Ricks.
“If I had to do it all over again, I would absolutely have said that because we wouldn't be sitting here now,” Gilmore said.
The hydrocodone that Gilmore took was from a prescription he got in 2009 when he was undergoing cancer treatment. Ricks came back to Gilmore in October and told him the drug test had come back positive.
A few hours after Gilmore and Ricks spoke, Gilmore went to a dermatologist for a skin treatment and asked for something to relieve the pain caused by the treatment. He was prescribed hydrocodone.
Dr. Scott Meyers, a board member and Tulsa dermatologist, said he did not understand why Gilmore received a prescription for treating skin tags.
“It's the only time I've heard of it, and that's what I do daily,” Meyers said. “It's the only time I've heard of Lortab being prescribed for (seborrheic keratosis) removal.”
During testimony, Gilmore and his attorney Daniel Gamino read through letters from colleagues, counselors and fellow addict support group members who all said Gilmore was not in a relapse.
“He appears to be a competent physician with an illness and should be available to safety practice with appropriate monitoring,” one letter read.
Stages of relapse?
Dr. Robert Westcott, the director of the Oklahoma Health Professionals Program, said in their group, there are three stages of relapse — behavioral relapse, a second phase of relapse where someone drinks once or twice on the weekend or at night, and a third phase where a recovering medical professional abuses substances on a regular basis and puts patients in jeopardy.
“I told Dr. Gilmore that I thought he was not making the best of decisions, but I really don't feel he was in that third step of relapse,” Westcott said.
Westcott said although Gilmore should not have kept or taken the medication from 2009, he didn't think Gilmore was a danger to patients.