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Shorewood doctor's license suspended indefinitely

July 8, 2009

A Shorewood doctor accused of writing prescriptions for methadone for a patient and then having the patient give her some of the drugs for personal use has had her medical license suspended indefinitely, state officials announced today.

The state Medical Examining Board also determined that Susan Pattis suffered from mental illness and substance abuse dependency that prohibited her from practicing "with reasonable skill and safety to patients." She also is accused of having a sexual relationship with patient, the state Department of Regulation and Licensing said.

According to the department:

Pattis took methadone in November 2008 for which she did not have a prescription. She improperly obtained the drug by writing a prescription for an excess amount of the substance to a patient with the understanding that he would return the additional doses to her.

She also regularly smoked marijuana for several years leading up to November 2008 and began a sexual relationship with a patient whom she immediately referred to another physician. State law prohibits physicians from engaging in any sexual relationship with a patient they have provide services to within the past two years.

"These are all very serious violations of professional conduct which warrant firm discipline to protect the public and hold this person accountable," DRL Secretary Celia Jackson said in a statement.

Pattis can not practice medicine through at least January 2010, after which she can apply for a stay of the suspension if she can show compliance with several provisions set by the board, including an assessment of ability to practice safely, and treatment for mental illness and substance abuse.

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